Trump Announces He's Replacing Jeff Sessions with a Critic of Robert Mueller

07 November, 2018, 22:59 | Author: Myra Gill
  • President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions in December 2017

Embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned Wednesday, making good on President Trump's promise that he would be out of office after the midterm elections. He took credit for reversing a recent rise in violent crime and for taking a hardline stance on illegal immigration and gangs.

Sessions' replacement, Matthew Whitaker, has written critically about the Mueller investigation before; Whitaker's elevation means that deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein will no longer be in an oversight position over the Mueller investigation.

MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell says it's highly likely that President Trump is going to shake up his cabinet in a big way, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions may quit as early as this week before he gets fired.

The relentless attacks on Sessions came even though the Alabama Republican was the first United States senator to endorse Trump and despite the fact that his crime-fighting agenda and priorities - particularly his hawkish immigration enforcement policies - largely mirrored the president's. Mr Trump wrote on Wednesday. Trump belittled Sessions but, perhaps following the advice of aides, held off on firing him.

An element of Mr Mueller's investigation includes whether Trump or anyone in the campaign tried to obstruct justice.

The president's frustrations with his attorney general have at times publicly boiled into what appeared to be anger over many issues related to the Justice Department's Russian Federation election meddling probe.

Whitaker was the Chief of Staff to Sessions prior to Sessions' departure.


The departing attorney general also pointed to efforts to address the opioid epidemic with "new law enforcement tools and determination" and said they had seen results, but did not specify what kind.

Trump never forgot it, and never forgave Sessions, whom he routinely derided from his perch on Twitter.

In July 2017, he said during an interview on CNN that he could envision a scenario under which a temporary attorney general doesn't fire Mueller but rather "just reduces his budget to so low that his investigations grinds to nearly a halt".

Trump's first attorney general aggressively denied any involvement that day to collude with Russian officials to interfere in the 2016 president election on Trump's behalf.

Sessions usually does not respond to the President's criticism, but he has at times pushed back.

In an August 2017 op-ed published on the CNN website, the former federal prosecutor argued that Mueller had come "dangerously close" to crossing a "red line" in the investigation by looking at Trump's personal finances and those of his business.

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