U.S. Attorney General Sessions Resigns, Throwing Doubt On Russia Probe

U.S. Attorney General Sessions Resigns, Throwing Doubt On Russia Probe

"The dismissal of the nation's top law enforcement official is a huge step, one that should not be based on political motives - and certainly should not be done to protect the president or his cronies from the law", Romero said.

But President Trump's decision to request Sessions' resignation raises serious concerns about his commitment to the rule of law in the United States.

In his tweet, Trump said: "We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well!"

In a follow-up statement, Trump said his administration is "pleased to announce" that Matthew G. Whitaker, who was the chief of staff under Sessions, will become acting attorney general.

The same month, he said that while the promised dirt on Hillary Clinton offered by Russian friends of the Trumps turned out to be a "ludicrous" conspiracy theory about Russian funding of the Democrats, there was nothing improper about the campaign agreeing to the meeting.

Department of Justice sources told Fox News Whitaker will not need to be sworn in. Sessions had recused himself from any involvement in the Mueller investigation; his replacement will not have the same obligation. In recusing himself, the attorney general took control of the Russian Federation probe out of the hands of a Trump loyalist, and handed it to Rod Rosenstein, where it remained until today.

Mr Trump announced Mr Sessions' departure on Twitter. "Oh", he said. Then, bracing for the inevitable questions from reporters, he gave his immediate reaction: "protecting Mueller and his investigation is paramount", he said.

"And that attorney general doesn't fire Bob Mueller, but he just reduces his budget so low that his investigation grinds to nearly a halt".

"Bob Mueller is totally conflicted", Mr Trump continued but provided no evidence that the team led by Mr Mueller, a Republican appointed by Republicans, is biased against him. He suggested Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the Mueller investigation, should limit the counsel's scope.

"According to NBC News, Voters Nationwide Disapprove of the so-called Mueller Investigation (46%) more than they Approve (41%)".

Democrats are raising the alarm, saying Mr Whitaker's view should force him to recuse himself.

"It is impossible to read Attorney General Sessions' firing as anything other than another blatant attempt by @realDonaldTrump to undermine & end Special Counsel Mueller's investigation", House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tweeted.

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