How will Jeff Sessions' ouster affect the Mueller probe?

How will Jeff Sessions' ouster affect the Mueller probe?

Sessions announced his resignation Wednesday.

In attacks delivered on Twitter, in person and in interviews, Trump called Sessions weak and beleaguered, complained that he wasn't more aggressively pursuing allegations of corruption against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and called it "disgraceful" that Sessions wasn't more serious in scrutinizing the origins of the Russian Federation investigation for possible law enforcement bias - even though the attorney general did ask the Justice Department's inspector general to look into those claims.

In his resignation letter, Sessions touted the department's initiatives, saying that the Justice Department had taken on "transnational gangs that are bringing violence and death across our borders and protected national security" and noted efforts on immigration enforcement and the opioid epidemic.

As acting Attorney-General, Mr Whitaker can now tell Mr Mueller what areas to investigate or leave alone.

Rosenstein remains at the department and could still be involved in oversight.

Could a Mueller firing be challenged on legal grounds?

Senator Susan Collins said: "It is imperative that the Administration not impede the Mueller investigation".

Whitaker argued that Mueller should not be able to investigate the Trump family's finances in the course of his probe.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican representing SC, vowed to help President Trump find a worthy successor for Sessions. The news added yet another layer to previous reports that the president once speculated about why "my guys" at the "Trump Justice Department" weren't doing more to shield him from Mueller's scrutiny.

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That left Whitaker in charge, at least for now, though Democrats, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. "It is an entire branch of the government and even for those five justices, if they do lean toward the President, to do precedent breaking action makes us look like a banana republic - you could start losing one or more of those five", he said. Jerry Nadler, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, said he wants "answers immediately" and "we will hold people accountable".

Sessions had recused himself from overseeing the investigation due to his role on the Trump campaign. In fact, Mr Whitaker told CNN a year ago that a future attorney general could limit Mr Mueller by reducing the budget "so low that his investigations grinds to nearly a halt".

The attorney general had endured more than a year of stinging and personal criticism from Mr. Trump over his recusal from the investigation into potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Trump's relentless attacks on Sessions came even though the Alabama Republican was the first US senator to endorse Trump and despite the fact his crime-fighting agenda and priorities, particularly his hawkish immigration enforcement policies, largely mirrored the president's.

Rosenstein has also drawn heavy criticism from House Republicans for not recusing himself from overseeing the investigation, since he was involved in the FBI's investigation of the Trump campaign.

We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well!

Less than 24 hours after the polls closed around the country, before results from Tuesday's elections were certified, Attorney General Jeff Sessions submitted his resignation. Trump has long made it clear he did not agree with Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the investigation, berating him in an at times brutal public fashion.

Whitaker issued a statement Wednesday night calling it a "true honor" to be chosen by Mr. Trump.

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