Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned from his post on Wednesday, ending a strenuous tenure as the nation’s top lawyer, CNN reports.
Sessions was let go from his post at the request of President Donald Trump, according to his resignation letter.
“At your request, I am submitting my resignation,” he wrote in a letter to White House chief of staff John Kelly.
Trump announced on Twitter that Matthew Whitaker will become 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 wrote. “He will serve our Country well …We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well! A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.”
Whitaker will be in charge of the Russia investigation and special counsel Robert Mueller taking over the responsibility from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
During his tenure, Session dismantled Obama-era policies on civil rights, police reform and immigration, which was very much in line with Trump’s messaging.
Despite his loyalty to Trump, Sessions was routinely criticized by the president, who felt that he should not have recused himself last year at the start of the Russia investigation.
“I have never seen anything so Rigged in my life. Our A.G. is scared stiff and Missing in Action. It is all starting to be revealed – not pretty. IG Report soon? Witch Hunt!” he tweeted in August after he accused the news media of not reporting a meeting between former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr and an ex-British intelligence officer who wrote a research dossier on Trump.
….Do you believe Nelly worked for Fusion and her husband STILL WORKS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF “JUSTICE.” I have never seen anything so Rigged in my life. Our A.G. is scared stiff and Missing in Action. It is all starting to be revealed – not pretty. IG Report soon? Witch Hunt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 11, 2018
Sessions responded to being called “scared stiff” by saying he “will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.” Adding that he demands “the highest standards.”
Democratic leaders have asked for Whitaker to recuse himself because he called the Russia investigation a witch hunt.
“Given his previous comments advocating defunding and imposing limitations on the Mueller investigation, Mr. Whitaker should recuse himself from its oversight for the duration of his time as acting attorney general,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, per CNN.
Former attorney general Eric Holder asked that there not be any interference in the Mueller probe.
“Anyone who attempts to interfere with or obstruct the Mueller inquiry must be held accountable. This is a red line. We are a nation of laws and norms not subject to the self-interested actions of one man,” tweeted Holder.
Anyone who attempts to interfere with or obstruct the Mueller inquiry must be held accountable. This is a red line. We are a nation of laws and norms not subject to the self interested actions of one man.
— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) November 7, 2018
Read Sessions’ resignation letter below.
Jeff Sessions Resignation L… by on Scribd