Jeff Sessions resigns as attorney general at Trump's request

Pauline Gross
November 7, 2018

Matthew Whitaker, Jeff Sessions' chief of staff who will take over as acting Attorney General with his boss' ouster, has been an outspoken advocate of limiting - or even ending - the Mueller investigation.

Sessions quickly issued his own resignation letter, admitting that he was resigning at Trump's request. He took credit for reversing a recent rise in violent crime and for taking a hardline stance on illegal immigration and gangs.

Trump announced in a tweet that Sessions' chief of staff Matt Whitaker would become the new acting attorney-general.

Because of Sessions' recusal, the investigation has been under the oversight of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has also come under fire from the Trump administration.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who frequently had been criticized publicly by President Trump for recusing himself in the Russian Federation probe, submitted his resignation Wednesday.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said after the news broke that Trump risked creating a "constitutional crisis" if he impeded Mueller's investigation, Reuters reported.

Sessions tendered his resignation at the president's request, but thanked Trump for the opportunity.

Sessions' departure immediately raises questions about the future of Mueller's investigation.

Sessions resigned after having been publicly derided by the president for over a year.

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Appearing on CNN in July 2017, Whitaker once floated the idea that Trump could impede Mueller without firing him by simply allowing the attorney general to defund his operation.

Mr. Sessions had recused himself from that matter, causing much of the break with Mr. Trump.

Who is the new attorney general?

Mr. Trump, during a press conference earlier Wednesday, had said he expected some Cabinet moves, but did not telegraph the Sessions decision.

Mr Trump has repeatedly pilloried his top law enforcement official since Mr Sessions stepped aside from the Russian Federation investigation in March 2017, allowing his deputy Rod Rosenstein to lead an inquiry that has dogged the White House.

Matthew Whitaker was named acting attorney general on November 7, 2018.

At a forum for Republican candidates for Sente in 2004, Whitaker said that he would ask judicial nominees whether they were "people of faith" in the nomination process.

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa tweeted his appreciation for Sessions' service.

Other reports by GizPress

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