As the midterms wind down there is still plenty happening in Washington. Attorney General Jeff Sessions turned in his resignation, notably at President Trump’s request.
Trump made a tweet thanking Sessions for his service as well as acknowledging Matthew Whitaker as his replacement.
“We are pleased to announce that Matthew G. Whitaker, Chief of Staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the Department of Justice, will become our new Acting Attorney General of the United States. He will serve our Country well,” Trump tweeted, adding: “We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well! A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.”
The resignation letter Sessions submitted to the president starts by stating, “At your request, I am submitting my resignation.”
While not surprise, as Trump has been excessively critical of Sessions, Republicans were hoping that the president would allow Sessions to step down in a more dignified fashion, as Sessions has been a staunch Trump supporter since Trump started his campaign.
However Sessions stoked the president’s ire when he recused himself from the Russian probe being carried out by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
This is direct contrast with Whitaker, who has largely criticized the probe. In an op-ed to CNN Whitaker implied the investigation had already gone to far:
“Mueller has come up to a red line in the Russia 2016 election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing,” Whitaker wrote. “This information is deeply concerning to me. It does not take a lawyer or even a former federal prosecutor like myself to conclude that investigating Donald Trump’s finances or his family’s finances falls completely outside of the realm of his 2016 campaign and allegations that the campaign coordinated with the Russian government or anyone else. That goes beyond the scope of the appointment of the special counsel.”