Jeff Sessions, once one of President Trump’s most loyal and trusted advisers before infuriating Trump over his recusal from the Russia investigation, has resigned as attorney general at the request of the president.
“At your request, I am submitting my resignation,” Sessions wrote in the Wednesday letter to Trump.
The president tweeted that Matthew Whitaker, who currently serves as chief of staff to Sessions, will become the acting attorney general.
“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 added: “We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well! A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.”
In his resignation letter, Sessions said was “honored to serve” as attorney general and said his Justice Department “restored and upheld the rule of law – a glorious tradition that each of us has a responsibility to safeguard.”
Sessions’ departure from the Justice Department is not unexpected, as the president has signaled changes to his administration after the midterms. But no one faced more rumors of an imminent dismissal than Sessions.
For more than a year, Trump has repeatedly lambasted Sessions over his recusal, saying he wouldn’t have installed Sessions as the country’s top law enforcement officer had he known his attorney general would recuse himself from the Russia probe.
In September, Trump said of his strained relationship with Sessions, “I don’t have an attorney general. It’s very sad.”
Shortly after taking office, Sessions removed himself from the Russia investigation in March of 2017, citing his involvement as a high-profile surrogate and adviser to Trump’s campaign.
Well so much for that theory that Sessions was coming loaded for bear after the election. It’s still unknown what effect this will have on Mueller’s investigation. Anyone ever heard of Matt Whitaker??