Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigns at Trump’s request
Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Jeff Sessions has resigned as attorney general effective immediately after being asked to do so by President Trump, sources told ABC News.
“At your request, I am submitting my resignation,” Sessions wrote in an undated letter to the president.
“Since the day I was honored to be sworn in as Attorney General of the United States, I came to work at the Department of Jusitce every day determined to do my duty and serve my country,” Sessions wrote. “I have done so to the best of my ability, working to support the fundamental legal processes that are the foundation of justice.”
Trump tweeted that Sessions’ chief of staff, Matthew G. Whitaker, will serve as acting attorney general.
On Twitter, Trump thanked Sessions for his service and announced that Sessions’ chief of staff, Matthew G. Whitaker, will serve as acting attorney general and that a permanent replacement will take place at a later date.
Previously, Trump would not say whether Sessions — who he has repeatedly criticized throughout his tenure — would be safe in his job after the midterm elections. “I just would love to have him do a great job,” Trump told Bloomberg News on Aug. 30.
“I’d love to have him look at the other side,” Trump added, underscoring his demand for Sessions to reopen the investigation into Hillary Clinton and the origins of the Russia investigation.
Earlier in August, in an interview with Fox News, Trump lashed out at Sessions, saying he failed to take control of the Department of Justice.
In his most forceful public rebuke to date, Sessions hit back shortly after, saying he “will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a close Trump confidante, predicted Sessions would be out of his job in the near future, but insisted Trump should wait until after November’s midterm elections.
“The president’s entitled to an attorney general he has faith in, somebody that’s qualified for the job, and I think there will come a time, sooner rather than later, where it will be time to have a new face and a fresh voice at the Department of Justice,” Graham said at the time. “Clearly, Attorney General Sessions doesn’t have the confidence of the president.”
Tensions developed between Trump and Sessions in March 2017, when Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation and Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein took over.
Rosenstein soon appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to oversee the Russia probe, angering the president.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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