Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigns at the behest of President Trump

Clay Curtis
November 7, 2018

"At your request, I am submitting my resignation", Sessions wrote in the Wednesday letter to Trump.

Trump will now go through the process of looking for his new Attorney General, and that person will have to be confirmed by the Senate.

Whitaker will also replace Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Mr Sessions was the first U.S. senator to endorse Mr Trump for president.

As The Washington Post noted, Whitaker has made public statements expressing skepticism towards the Mueller investigation.

"Since the day I was honoured to be sworn in as Attorney General of the United States, I came to work at the Department of Justice every day determined to do my duty and serve my country", the letter states.

He vowed maintain "a close watch" on Mueller's investigation going forward "and the impact of the appointment of a new Attorney General".

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Sessions' tenure as attorney general was often turbulent, and rumors indicated he might resign or be fired after the midterm elections.

Mr. Sessions had previously submitted his resignation past year shortly after the spec counsel was appointed, but Mr. Trump refused to accept it.

The president said on Twitter that he will nominate a permanent replacement "at a later date". "I don't have an attorney-general", he said in September.

For more than a year, Trump repeatedly criticized Sessions over his recusal, saying he wouldn't have selected Sessions for the attorney general role if he'd known Sessions would ultimately recuse himself from the Russian Federation probe.

An element of Mr Mueller's investigation includes whether Trump or anyone in the campaign tried to obstruct justice. It is not clear whether Mueller was told ahead of time.

But all of those areas of agreement were overshadowed by the Russia investigation - specifically, Sessions's recusal from the inquiry after it was revealed that he had met a couple of times with the Russian ambassador to the United States during the 2016 campaign even though he had said during his confirmation hearing that he had not met with any Russians.

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