Trump Forces Out Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Trump Forces Out Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Democrats have slammed Whitaker's appointment to replace Sessions, arguing that Trump is trying to undermine Mueller and demanding that Whitaker recuse himself from supervising the Mueller investigation due to his writings and public comments attacking the investigation.

One associate, Jerome Corsi, said in a video recording Monday that he's "been involved in a really constant basis" for two months with Mueller's investigation. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., then-the Senate Judiciary Committee's ranking member is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington during a break in the committee's confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.

Trump has told confidants he remains deeply annoyed by the 18-month-old Mueller probe, believing it is not just a "witch hunt" but an expensive and lengthy negative distraction.

The counselor to the president went on to give credit to Sessions for his work at the Department of Justice, including cracking down on opioid abuse as well as the MS-13 gang.

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

A spokeswoman for the Justice Department said that the acting attorney general - meaning Whitaker - is in charge of "all matters" within the department, including the Russian Federation probe.

That drew criticism from Democrats because Whitaker, who would now take over responsibility for overseeing Mueller and his investigation, has been critical of the Mueller probe, saying it should be scaled back.

"Mueller has come up to a red line in the Russian Federation 2016 election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing", Whitaker wrote in an op-ed past year before he came to work for the government.

The president can not directly fire the special counsel.

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Other Democratic congressional leaders, including House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Senate Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Mark Warner issued almost identical tweets urging Whitaker to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation, citing his vocal criticism of the probe.

And, if nothing else, having an attorney general who isn't recused from Mueller's work might give the White House a clearer look inside it.

Republican Mitt Romney, the party's 2012 presidential nominee who was elected on Tuesday to the US Senate from Utah, also said Mueller's probe should not be affected by Sessions' departure.

Justice Department rules on special counsels set boundaries on how Mueller could be removed.

Sessions recused himself from managing the investigation because of his own past involvement in the Trump campaign. He recused himself the next day, saying it would be inappropriate to oversee an investigation into a campaign he was part of.

Sessions endured most of the name-calling in silence, though he did issue two public statements defending the department, including one in which he said he would serve "with integrity and honor" for as long as he was in the job. He also announced media leak crackdowns, tougher policies against opioids and his Justice Department defended a since-abandoned administration policy that resulted in parents being separated from their children at the border.

Sessions had been protected for much of his tenure by the support of Senate Republicans, including Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, who had said he would not schedule a confirmation hearing for another attorney general if Trump fired him.

Sessions, who likely suspected his ouster was imminent, was spotted by reporters giving some of his grandchildren a tour of the White House over the weekend.

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