Attorney General Jeff Sessions Resigns, Trump Appoints Acting AG

Glen Norman
November 8, 2018

Sessions, who is said to have tended his resignation by letter, angered Trump by recusing himself from a probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election campaign.

"President Trump just removed Jeff Sessions".

Trump announced on Twitter that Sessions's chief of staff, Matthew G. Whitaker, would be taking over as Acting Attorney General until a more permanent replacement could be named.

Those same sources also said Trump requested Sessions' resignation letter before the president held a news conference Wednesday morning, though it was White House chief of staff John Kelly who delivered the news to the former AG.

Given Whitaker's past criticism of the Mueller investigation-which included a proposal to reduce Mueller's "budget to so low that his investigation grinds to nearly a halt"-legal experts and activists warned that the Sessions firing could be Trump's opening salvo in a broader effort to undermine the Russian Federation investigation".

The departure creates uncertainty at the Justice Department, but also for special counsel Robert Mueller's office, which is investigating allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. election that delivered a Trump White House.

This sets of a series of questions about the implications of the change on Special Investigator Robert Mueller.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday that "protecting Mueller and his investigation is paramount". He was a George W. Bush loyalist - named a former USA attorney in Iowa under Bush - but like many others, he has become a big admirer of Trump along the way.

As the top law-enforcement official, the new Attorney General should have the Department of Justice proactively investigate reports of hate crimes in an effort to counteract related violence.

Mr Rosenstein in turn appointed Mr Mueller, a former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. But even as he continued to implement the Trump agenda, his relationship with the President remained strained and fraught for months due to the ongoing Mueller investigation. "He will serve our Country well", tweeted the President.

Donald Trump with Mr Sessions in December previous year. Whitaker said in a May 2017 statement: "I believed there was a strong case to bring against [Clinton] and she should be extremely grateful that has not happened".

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who is expected to take over the gavel on the House Intelligence Committee, vowed that Democrats will "protect the rule of law".

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