Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is seriously under threat as Jeff Sessions has resigned as attorney general, effective immediately, after being asked to do so by Donald Trump. Sessions submitted a resignation letter to Trump that could, under reasonable definitions, be considered Trump firing Sessions.
“At your request, I am submitting my resignation,” Sessions wrote in an undated letter to Trump, as seen below. Tensions grew between Trump and Sessions starting in March of last year, when Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation and Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein took over. Rosenstein then of course appointed Special Counsel Mueller.
POTUS effectively fires AG Sessions pic.twitter.com/XcfHQZSb41
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) November 7, 2018
Trump made the announcement about Sessions’ departure and announced Sessions’ 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. A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.”
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….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2018
Chief of Staff to now former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Matthew G. Whitaker, wrote an op-ed in August of last year, in which he argued that Mueller’s investigation should be limited in a way to protect Trump and Trump’s family; “It is time for Rosenstein to order Mueller to limit the scope of his investigation…If he doesn’t, then Mueller’s investigation will eventually start to look like a political fishing expedition. This would not only be out of character for a respected figure like Mueller, but also could be damaging to the President of the United States and his family — and by extension, to the country.”
Who would want to be the Attorney General to end or limit Mueller’s investigation for Trump? Perhaps none, which is why Trump could use Whitaker, a temporary AG, to carry out the deed. The fact is that those following the Mueller investigation have worried about Trump removing Sessions as a means to end Mueller’s probe, and it just happened.