Republicans warn Trump not to shut down Russia inquiry – live updates

12.05am GMT

Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker – currently the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the country – sat on the advisory board of a company that was ordered to pay a $26m settlement to federal authorities over allegations of running a massive scam, the Guardian’s Jon Swaine reports.

World Patent Marketing and its founder, Scott Cooper, were sued by the Federal Trade Commission in March last year. The government said it had “operated an invention-promotion scam that has bilked thousands of consumers out of millions of dollars”.

The company was accused of tricking hopeful inventors into paying it thousands of dollars to obtain patents and licensing deals for their inventions. In fact, they “failed to fulfill almost every promise they make to consumers”, the complaint said.

In this Aug 2015 email, Trump’s new AG Matthew Whitaker threatens a victim of the patents scam firm that was paying Whitaker as an adviser. The firm was sued by the US govt and ordered by a court to pay $26m just 6 months ago.

11.49pm GMT

A third Republican senator, Jerry Moran of Kansas, has fired a warning shot about interference with the Mueller investigation, though in guarded terms.

I expect that during this transition period, the DOJ will make certain federal law enforcement agencies continue to protect our country, carry out the rule of law and allow the Special Counsel investigation to continue unimpeded.

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Source: theguardian