Whitaker was campaign chairman for Mueller witness

Whitaker was campaign chairman for Mueller witness

Jeff Sessions resigned as President Donald Trump's attorney general on Wednesday at Trump's request.

There have been close relationships between the attorneys general and the White House before, but, at the end of the day, we need to have confidence that the integrity of our - particularly our criminal investigations, who's targeted, what type of evidence is collected, how it's collected is not directed for political purposes.

"You can't blame Sessions for recusing himself!"

Trump has long expressed frustration with Sessions over his recusal from the Justice Department's Russian Federation investigation.

Mr Sessions became the first casualty of a cabinet shakeup that had been expected from Mr Trump following the midterm elections on Tuesday.

Mr Sessions was technically Mr Mueller's boss, but recused himself from the probe to avoid any conflict of interest because he had been an adviser on Mr Trump's election campaign, a decision which led to him falling out of the President's good graces.

Under the special counsel regulation, Mr Whitaker has the power to block any "investigative or procedural step" Mr Mueller recommends, such as bringing an indictment or subpoena, if he determines it to be "inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices".

"Any investigation into President Trump's finances or the finances of his family would require Mueller to return to Rod Rosenstein for additional authority under Mueller's appointment as special counsel", Whitaker also wrote in the CNN piece in 2017.

That set off immediate alarm bells: Whitaker has been overtly critical of the broad scope granted to Mueller's team to probe beyond allegations Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation in 2016, into other ties between Trump, his family and aides, and Russian Federation - an investigation the president calls a "witch hunt".

In announcing the resignation in a tweet that thanked the former Alabama senator "for his service" - Trump right away named as acting attorney general Sessions' chief of staff Matthew Whitaker.

Trump on Wednesday threatened Democrats over the possibility of new investigations, saying he'd take a "warlike posture". Trump said Wednesday that he did not plan to stop the investigation.

Trump has made no secret of his feeling about Sessions, calling him a "traitor", a "dumb southerner", "Mr. Magoo" - and, Colbert reminded, Trump called him "perhaps the most humiliating of all: "member of my administration".

Sessions also touted the Justice Department's efforts to address crime, immigration, and the opioid crisis, among other issues.

The president also warned the Democrats against investigating him, after taking over the House in the midterm elections.

"In my time as attorney general, we have restored and upheld the rule of law - a glorious tradition that each of us has a responsibility to safeguard", Sessions added in his resignation letter. The recusal left the investigation in the hands of Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller as special counsel two months later after Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey.

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