US Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigns at Trump's request

Charlene Craig
November 8, 2018

New Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, whose appointment means he will supervise special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, has a personal tie to one of the witnesses in the probe: Whitaker was the campaign chairman for Sam Clovis in 2014 when Clovis ran for state treasurer in Iowa. "It is time for Rosenstein, who is the acting attorney general for the purposes of this investigation, to order Mueller to limit the scope of his investigation to the four corners of the order appointing him special counsel".

In a resignation letter, Mr Sessions made clear the decision was not his own.

But Department of Justice spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores told The Hill in a statement that "the Acting Attorney General is in charge of all matters under the purview of the Department of Justice", which would include the Russian Federation probe.

Trump said a new replacement will be nominated at a later date.

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The Department of Justice provided Yahoo News with a copy of an undated resignation letter from Sessions to the president.

He called for the Mueller investigation's scope to be narrowed.

In an opinion piece written for CNN in August 2017 while serving as a commentator for the network, Mr Whitaker, a former U.S. attorney, said Mr Mueller would be crossing a line if he investigated the Trump family's finances.

"[Whitaker] will serve our Country well", Trump tweeted.

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Matthew Whitaker is a CNN legal commentator and former U.S. attorney who directs the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), a conservative ethics watchdog group. Mr. Whitaker has criticized special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential coordination between the president's Republican campaign and Russian Federation.

He is reported to have frequented the Oval Office in the last few years and have an "easy chemistry" with Trump, serving as a "balm" in the tenuous relationship between Trump and Sessions that has finally come to a close.

It essentially paved the way for Robert Mueller's investigation - the issue blighting Trump's presidency.

That's the type of statement by the commander in chief that makes it all the more important that the officials at Justice Department are clearly not going by direction from the White House, but instead are following the facts and doing the law. Chuck Schumer tweeted Wednesday that like Sessions, Whitaker should also recuse himself. He later lost a Republican primary race against Roy Moore, who went on to be defeated by Democrat Doug Jones.

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