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
Jeff Sessions has resigned as attorney general at the request of President Trump.
According to the president, Matthew Whitaker, Sessions’ current chief of staff, will serve as his replacement.
Sessions, 71, had a rocky tenure: His decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe in March 2017 was met with disapproval from President Trump, who would later openly express regret, via Twitter as well as in interviews, about having nominated Sessions. “[…] If he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” the president said.
Sessions defended his recusal, citing guidelines on possible conflicts that could arise when authorities are tasked with investigating campaigns in which they have participated.
Trump would go on to express his dissatisfaction with Sessions regarding the investigation, tweeting on July 24, 2017, “So why aren’t the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys [sic] crimes & Russia relations?”
Sessions continued his work following the recusal, laying out objectives for the Justice Department that included a major crackdown on illegal immigration and sanctuary cities. The former attorney general also made religious freedom a priority of the Trump administration, announcing a “religious liberty task force” over the summer and speaking in defense of people of faith last week during a Boston discussion in response the October 27 Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.
In response to Sessions’ resignation, President Trump tweeted, “We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well! A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.”
Read Jeff Sessions’ full letter of resignation here.
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