President Trump Fires Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Replaces Him with Matthew Whitaker Who Will Also Oversee Mueller Probe

Matthew Whitaker, Wiki
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President Trump has fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from Robert Mueller’s Russia collusion investigation that has been problematic for Trump.  Matthew Whitaker, Sessions’ chief of staff, will become acting Attorney General until Trump can win a confirmation for Sessions’ replacement from the Senate.  Whitaker will also assume control of the Mueller probe, replacing Rod Rosenstein, who is involved in a conflict-of-interest in the Russian collusion/ FISA spying case as he signed one of the FISA warrants.  Whitaker had previously criticized the investigation for venturing far beyond its original scope.

Update (4:20 pm ET): Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, has chimed in with the most strident criticism yet of Trump’s decision to oust Sessions, claiming that the decision appears to be “a blatant attempt by Trump” to undermine Mueller. She added that Whitaker should recuse himself from the Mueller probe.

Update (3:55 pm ET): Jeff Sessions was reportedly informed on Wednesday by phone that Trump wanted his resignation. And now that Sessions’ former Chief of Staff Matthew Whitaker has taken over as acting AG, he will also assume control of the Mueller probe, according to Bloomberg. Unsurprisingly given Trump’s well-documented ironic aversion to firing people in person, Chief of Staff John Kelly reportedly delivered the news to Sessions in a phone call.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly called Attorney General Jeff Sessions prior to President Trump’s news conference today to inform him that Trump wanted his resignation, a US official said.

Sessions is packing up his things and will address senior level staff in a private meeting before leaving DOJ for final time Matthew Whitaker, who previously served as DOJ’s chief of staff, is officially the acting attorney general and will take over Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s role in the 2016 campaign, the official said.

Mueller declined to comment on the matter, according to spokesman Peter Carr.

So, it looks like the Mueller probe really is in trouble.

* * *

After months of being publicly denigrated by President Trump, Jeff Sessions is finally out at the DOJ…

Just one day after Republicans expanded their majority in the Senate, President Trump revealed in a tweet that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has resigned. Matthew G. Whitaker, Sessions’ chief of staff, will become acting Attorney General until Trump can win a confirmation for Sessions’ replacement from the Senate. Whitaker is expected to be sworn in by end of day Wednesday. Session confirmed that he is resigning at the president’s request.

Just one day after Republicans expanded their majority in the Senate, President Trump revealed in a tweet that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has resigned. Matthew G. Whitaker, Sessions’ chief of staff, will become acting Attorney General until Trump can win a confirmation for Sessions’ replacement from the Senate. Whitaker is expected to be sworn in by end of day Wednesday. Session confirmed that he is resigning at the president’s request.

What’s more, Whitaker could try and gut the Southern District of New York’s investigation of the Trump Organization and other probes related to the president’s dealings before he took office, per Bloomberg.

An acting attorney general also could impede the investigations of the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The White House could be apprised of whatever private or confidential information they have accumulated.

“An acting attorney general could do a lot of damage,” said Martin Lederman, a former top Justice Department official and Georgetown University law professor.

In July 2017, Whitaker said during an interview on CNN that he could envision a scenario where the AG doesn’t fire Mueller, but instead “just reduces his budget to so low that his investigations grinds to almost a halt.” This has fueled speculation that, if Whitaker does take over the probe, that he would suspend the “memorandum of independence” that Rosenstein gave Mueller.  Whitaker also lashed out at Mueller for his allegedly illegal overreach in an editorial published on CNN.com in November 2017.

Schumer added that the timing of Sessions’ firing is “extremely suspect” – though most of Washington probably inferred that Sessions’ days were numbered once it became clear Tuesday that Republicans would expand their majority in the Senate.

Incoming House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler demanded that Trump offer an explanation for why he fired Sessions. Apparently, Nadler doesn’t follow the president on twitter.

Read full article here…

 

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