US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been fired by President Donald Trump. Sessions received the request to resign from Kelly, not the President, on Wednesday morning.
In a resignation letter, Mr Sessions – a former Alabama senator who was an early supporter of Mr Trump – made clear the decision to go was not his own.
“Dear Mr President, at your request I am submitting my resignation,” he wrote in an undated letter.
Matthew Whitaker will take over as acting attorney general, the President said. Whitaker is expected to take charge of the Russia investigation and special counsel Robert Mueller from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Mathew Whitaker has been openly critical of Mueller and the investigation and Democrats immediately called on him to recuse himself, just as Sessions had.
….We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well! A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2018
The move is an abrupt end to what had been a tumultuous tenure for Sessions, originally one of Trump’s earliest and most loyal surrogates as an Alabama Republican senator.
Mr Trump has repeatedly and publically criticised his top law enforcement official since Mr Sessions stepped aside from the Russia inquiry in March 2017.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is hunting for evidence of potential collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Moscow.
The wide-ranging investigation – overseen by the Department of Justice – has resulted in a series of criminal charges against several Trump associates.
Following the midterms on Tuesday Republicans are on course to increase their representation from 51 to 54 in the 100-seat Senate.
That will allow Mr Trump’s party greater leeway over judicial and executive appointments.
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