Trump Forces Out Attorney General Jeff Sessions

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The Democrats said they also want the Justice Department to protect the integrity of Mueller's investigation and to preserve relevant documents.

In July 2017 Mr Trump told the New York Times: "Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else".

"So I could see a scenario where Jeff Sessions is replaced with a recess appointment and that attorney general doesn't fire Bob Mueller, but he just reduces his budget to so low that his investigation grinds to nearly a halt", Whitaker said during an interview with CNN in July 2017. They could also call Mueller to testify and force him to divulge details from the investigation.

"Donald Trump may think he has the power to hire and fire whomever he pleases, but he can not take such action if it is determined that it is for the purposes of subverting the rule of law and obstructing justice", said the congressman.

Incoming House Judiciary Chair Nadler announces Congress will investigate President Trump's removal of Attorney General Sessions. Democrats cited his past comments about Mueller as evidence that he too must recuse.

Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House oversight committee and a frequent Trump critic, urged Congress to investigate "the real reason" for the attorney general's "termination".

"Sessions allowed the Department of Justice to function as the political arm of the Trump administration to undo fundamental rights that protect each of us, disregarding years of legal precedent and settled law". Under those rules, he could only be discharged for good cause, such as misconduct or dereliction of duty, such as violating department policy.

Probably. Mueller has clearly pursued allegations that Trump criminally obstructed the Russian Federation probe, mainly by firing former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey in May 2017 - the move that led directly to Mueller's appointment. That includes implying he had inside knowledge in separate email exchanges with a Breitbart editor and Steve Bannon, the then-Trump campaign chairman, just days before WikiLeaks began releasing thousands of emails stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

In a pair of tweets Wednesday afternoon announcing Sessions' resignation, Trump thanked the attorney general for his service and said Matt Whitaker, Sessions' chief of staff and a former USA attorney under former President George W. Bush, would take over as acting attorney general.

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Before he became Sessions' chief of staff, Whitaker was an accomplished athlete and attorney in Iowa.

He called on Whitaker to recuse himself from the Russian Federation probe because of previous comments about the investigation, echoing calls from other top Democrats.

The Mueller probe should not extend to the finances of Trump, his family or their business, the Trump Organization, he argued.

He called for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller and who has been supervising his work, to curb the investigation.

Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler, expected to chair the House Judiciary Committee starting in January, said removing Sessions fit Trump's pattern of interfering in the work of the Justice Department and Mueller. He has been rebuilding his relationship with Trump and senior White House officials during the presidency.

Matthew previously ran as a republican for U.S. Senate and state treasurer.

He also worked on an earlier campaign in Iowa for one of Trump's presidential campaign leaders, Sam Clovis, who has figured in the Russian Federation investigation.

Sessions has long faced criticism from Trump for recusing himself from Mueller's investigation of Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election. US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer shortly after the news broke said in a statement that Whitaker in his new role should recuse himself from overseeing Mueller's investigation.

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