Jeff Sessions: US attorney general fired by Trump

Jeff Sessions: US attorney general fired by Trump

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday afternoon that Jeff Sessions is out as Attorney General, with Sessions' chief of staff Matthew Whitaker taking his place until a new permanent AG is selected and confirmed.

"Dear Mr President, at your request I am submitting my resignation", Mr Sessions said in his letter.

Sessions' replacement, Matthew Whitaker, has written critically about the Mueller investigation before; Whitaker's elevation means that deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein will no longer be in an oversight position over the Mueller investigation.

Embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned from his office on Wednesday morning after President Donald Trump requested he do so.

The president has repeatedly criticised Sessions, a former Republican senator who was among the first to support Trump's presidential candidacy.

On Capitol Hill, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said "Protecting Mueller and his investigation is paramount".

Donald Trump never liked the way Jeff Sessions couldn't kill the Russian Federation investigation - on account of being up to his eyeballs in it himself - and he always wanted to kick his caricature of an AG to the curb.

Whitaker will now be in control of the Mueller investigation.

Mr. Sessions had previously submitted his resignation previous year shortly after the spec counsel was appointed, but Mr. Trump refused to accept it.

Under normal rules Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has been overseeing the Russian Federation probe, would become acting attorney general.

Trump was asked about Sessions' future in the administration at a press conference earlier today, though he did not provide a direct response. Trump belittled Sessions but, perhaps following the advice of aides, held off on firing him.

Who is the new attorney general?

From 2004 to 2009, Whitaker, 49, served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa. Sessions has many Republican friends in the Senate.

Whitaker was hired by Sessions to be his chief of staff in September 2017. Trump tweeted Monday that "investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department".