Breaking News: Jeff Sessions out as attorney general, ending rocky tenure
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Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned at President Donald Trump’s request on Wednesday, ending a tumultuous tenure marked by repeated public humiliations and raising new questions about the fate of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Word of the Justice Department leader’s ouster came via a Twitter post from Trump, who thanked the former Alabama senator for his service and announced that Sessions’ chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, would take over in an acting capacity.
Trump added that a permanent replacement would be nominated “at a later date.”
The change atop DOJ doesn’t appear to affect Rod Rosenstein, the embattled deputy attorney general who currently has the critical job of supervising Mueller’s probe into the Trump 2016 campaign and Russian hackers, including the special counsel’s budget and his decisions on subpoenas, indictments and the public disclosure of a final report.
Still, the tumult is guaranteed to cause a heated Senate debate as Democrats press for answers on whether the president extracted any kind of commitment from his next attorney general that they’d meddle with Mueller’s Russia probe.
Sessions’ departure comes as no surprise. On Twitter, Trump has repeatedly savaged the 71-year old former Alabama senator over his decision to recuse himself from overseeing his department’s probe into Kremlin meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign. In an interview last summer with Hill.TV, the president took it a step further when he complained that he didn’t “have an attorney general.”
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