March 25, 2019

Sessions resigns as attorney general

07 November 2018, 11:21 | Devin Moran

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigns

Jeff Sessions resigns as attorney general at Trump's request

In a CNN op-ed published past year, Whitaker suggested the investigation had gone too far amid reports the special counsel was looking into financial records relating to the Trump Organization.

Trump wanted Sessions to fire special counsel Robert Mueller and openly panned him for not appointing a second special counsel to investigate 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Such a crisis could emerge from different interpretations of the first sentence of Sessions's letter to Trump: "Dear Mr. President, at your request I am submitting my resignation".

"A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date", he said.

Sessions' departure immediately raises questions about the future of Mueller's investigation. But he also had to live with sometimes humiliating attacks from a President he couldn't seem to please and the suspicions of career staff members who feared the politicisation of a Justice Department that prides itself on its independence.

Comey's announcement last July that he would not recommend prosecution of Hillary Clinton for violations of the Espionage Act were a shock to many in law enforcement both inside the Federal Bureau of Investigation and out...[H] is pronouncement that "no reasonable prosecutor" would bring such a case was just wrong, and I said so publicly at the time. The president previously said he would not have named Sessions to head the Justice Department had he known the AG would recuse himself from the Russian Federation probe.

Who is the new attorney general?

Sessions's recusal stems from the fact he was an active supporter of Trump's 2016 campaign. Trump belittled Sessions but, perhaps following the advice of aides, held off on firing him. In recent months, however, some of those allies had signalled a willingness to tolerate Sessions' removal after the Midterm election.

As The Washington Post noted, Whitaker has made public statements expressing skepticism towards the Mueller investigation. "He will serve our Country well", Trump wrote on Twitter. Trump wrote on Twitter.

Mr Trump has at various times belittled Mr Sessions as "beleaguered", "VERY weak", and "DISGRACEFUL".

Whitaker added in the piece that "it is time for [Rod] order Mueller to limit the scope of his investigation".

Despite it all, Sessions never found himself back in favor with the president.

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