Trump Fires Jeff Sessions

Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent

President Donald Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replaced him with Sessions’ chief of staff, Trump announced by tweet Wednesday.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 10: Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing to be the U.S. attorney general January 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. Sessions was one of the first members of Congress to endorse and support President-elect Donald Trump, who nominated him for Attorney General. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

“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,” Trump tweeted. “He will serve our Country well. We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well! A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.”

Sessions’ letter of resignation indicates he was forced out.

“At your request I am submitting my resignation,” Sessions began.

Sessions continued, “We prosecuted the largest number of violent offenders and firearm defenders in our country’s history. We took on transnational gangs that are bringing violence and death across our borders and protected national security.”

“I have been honored to serve as Attorney General and have worked to implement the law enforcement agenda based on the rule of law that formed a central part of your campaign for the Presidency,” he closed.

Letter From the Attorney General by Paul Conner on Scribd

Trump has long been agitating to fire Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation and blames him for the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller. Trump hinted in the run up to the 2018 midterm elections that he would fire Sessions.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions button their coats as they stand for the national anthem at a graduation ceremony at the FBI Academy on the grounds of Marine Corps Base Quantico in Quantico, Virginia, December 15, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Fox News reports that the Department of Justice does not believe it needs to swear in Whitaker as acting attorney general, since he has already been sworn in for a different position.

Multiple reports indicate Whitaker is now in charge of all DOJ activities, including Mueller’s investigation. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had been overseeing the probe since Sessions’ recusal.

Whitaker wrote an op-ed for USA Today in July 2016 saying he would indict former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her handling of classified information.

“A reasonable prosecutor may ask, if on numerous occasions, an unknown State Department employee had taken top secret information from a secured system, emailed that information on a Gmail account, and stored the information on a personal server for years, would that individual be prosecuted?” he asked in the op-ed. “I believe they would.”

In June 2017, Whitaker told WMAL’s “Mornings on the Mall” that “there is no criminal obstruction of justice charge to be had here,” when referencing Mueller’s investigation.

“The evidence is weak, no reasonable prosecutor would bring on what we know right now, because it all boils down to what was the president’s intent, and we really don’t have any evidence of what the president’s intent was.”

Read the full letter from Sessions:

Dear Mr. President,

At your request I am submitting my resignation.

Since the day I was honored to be sworn in as Attorney General of the United States, I came to work at the Department of Justice every day determined to do my duty and serve my country. I have done so to the best of my ability, working to support the fundamental legal processes that are the foundation of justice.

The team we assembled embraced your directive to be a law and order Department of Justice. We prosecuted the largest number of violent offenders and firearm defendants in our country’s history. We took on transnational gangs that are bringing violence and death across our borders and protected national security. We did our part to restore immigration enforcement. We targeted the opioid epidemic by prosecuting doctors, pharmacists, and anyone else who contributes to this crisis with new law enforcement tools and determination. And we have seen results. After two years of rising violent crime and homicides prior to this administration, those trends have reversed—thanks to the hard work of our prosecutors and law enforcement around the country.

I am particularly grateful to the fabulous men and women in law enforcement all over this country with whom I have served. I have had no greater honor than to serve alongside them. As I have said many times, they have my thanks and I will always have their backs.

Most importantly, 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. We have operated with integrity and have lawfully and aggressively advanced the policy agenda of this administration.

I have been honored to serve as Attorney General and have worked to implement the law enforcement agenda based on the rule of law that formed a central part of your campaign for the Presidency.

Thank you for the opportunity, Mr. President.

Sincerely,

Jefferson B. Sessions III
Attorney General

Tags : department of justice donald trump jeff sessions matthew whitaker
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