Sessions Forced To Resign, As Trump Desperately Tries To Protect Son Don Jr. From Possible Indictment, Mueller Making Plans

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions was pushed out Wednesday as the country’s chief law enforcement officer after enduring more than a year of blistering and personal attacks from President Donald Trump over his recusal from the Russia investigation.  But, insiders at the US Justice Dept. hint that Special Counsel Robert Mueller knew Trump would likely make a move after the election to hinder his investigation of the President’s son, and that Mueller is making plans for his actual firing. If it occurs, Trump will find that Mueller has long been planning to farm out cases throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and New York. Jeff_Sessions_Hearing_rtr_img

Sessions told the president in a one-page letter that he was submitting his resignation “at your request.”

 

Trump announced in a tweet that he was naming Sessions’ chief of staff Matthew Whitaker, a former U.S. attorney from Iowa, as acting attorney general. Whitaker has criticized special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential coordination between the president’s Republican campaign and Russia.

The resignation was the culmination of a toxic relationship that frayed just weeks into the attorney general’s tumultuous tenure, when he stepped aside from the Mueller investigation.

Trump blamed the decision for opening the door to the appointment of Mueller, who took over the Russia investigation and began examining whether Trump’s hectoring of Sessions was part of a broader effort to obstruct justice and stymie the probe.

 

Asked whether Whitaker would assume control over Mueller’s investigation, Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Flores said Whitaker would be “in charge of all matters under the purview of the Department of Justice.” The DOJ did not announce a departure for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller more than a year and a half ago and has closely overseen his work since then.

 

Whitaker once opined about a situation in which Trump could fire Sessions and then appoint an acting attorney general who could stifle the funding of Mueller’s probe.

 

“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 almost a halt,” Whitaker said during an interview with CNN in July 2017.

 

Asked if that would be to dwindle the special counsel’s resources, Whitaker responded, “Right.”

 

In an op-ed for CNN, Whitaker wrote: “Mueller has come up to a red line in the Russia 2016 election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing.”

 

The announcement set off a frenzy inside the White House, with Trump directing his White House counsel to call Sessions beforehand and urge him not to step aside. Sessions rejected the entreaty. Mueller’s team, which has interviewed Sessions, has been investigating the president’s attacks on him and his demands to have a loyalist in charge of the Russia investigation.

 

Sessions had been protected for much of his tenure by the support of Senate Republicans, including Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, who had said he would not schedule a confirmation hearing for another attorney general if Trump fired him.

 

But that support began to fade, with Grassley suggesting over the summer that he might have time for a hearing after all.

 

And Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, another Judiciary Committee member who once said there would be “holy hell to pay” if Trump fired Sessions, called the relationship “dysfunctional” and said he thought the president had the right after the midterm to select a new attorney general.

 

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy:  AP
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