New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, along with 18 other attorneys general, is calling for the recusal of Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, citing his criticism of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

“It’s vital that the Special Counsel’s investigation move forward free from any appearance of interference or bias. As such, Acting Attorney General Whitaker has a clear responsibility to recuse himself from any role in the investigation – in order to ensure that the public can trust the integrity of the investigation and to protect DOJ’s fundamental independence," Underwood said in a statement released by the AG's office.



Jeff Sessions resigned as attorney general Wednesday at President Donald Trump's request, and has been replaced on an interim basis by Whitaker. Whitaker was previously Sessions's chief of staff.

Sessions had recused himself from special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into possible coordination between Trump's presidential campaign and Russia. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was placed in charge of the probe. It is unclear who will oversee it going forward.

Trump and Sessions had a falling out after the attorney general recused himself from Mueller's investigation. The president has repeatedly belittled Sessions in public and expressed regret about appointing him.

Underwood signed the letter, along with the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia. Tish James won election to New York's AG position Tuesday night; Underwood is serving as acting AG following the resignation of Eric Schneiderman.