How will Jeff Sessions' ouster affect the Mueller probe?

Frederick Owens
November 9, 2018

Many voiced concerns Wednesday that Whitaker may have potential conflicts of interest, especially in light of his attacks on the investigation. Today, Graham did not seem to indicate any "holy hell" was on the way, saying in a statement: "I look forward to working with President Trump to find a confirmable, worthy successor so that we can start a new chapter at the Department of Justice and deal with both the opportunities and challenges our nation faces". The recusal left the investigation in the hands of Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller two months later after Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey. He questioned Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein's ability to give Mueller such wide latitude and wanted to explore the bounds of what Mueller was examining, though Rosenstein kept Session's office "walled off" from the matter, this person said. Mueller and Trump's lawyers have negotiated for months about a possible interview, with no agreement in sight.

Protests took place around the country, including in Virginia Beach, in response to President Trump's firing of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General.

Sessions sent the message to Justice Department workers on Thursday, a day after he resigned at Trump's request.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday said that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker should recuse himself from overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

The possibility that Sessions was sacked could open Whitaker's appointment to court challenge by a range of people, including Mueller, impacted by his actions.

Installing Whitaker could clear the way for Trump to force out Mueller.

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But the relationship was irreparably damaged in March 2017 when Sessions, acknowledging previously undisclosed meetings with the Russian ambassador and citing his work as a campaign aide, recused himself from the Russia investigation.

"We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well!"

Trump's relentless attacks on Sessions came even though the Alabama Republican was the first USA senator to endorse Trump and despite the fact his crime-fighting agenda and priorities, particularly his hawkish immigration enforcement policies, largely mirrored the president's.

In July 2017 Mr Trump told the New York Times: "Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else". "Clearly, Attorney General Sessions doesn't have the confidence of the president".

Over the course of his investigation thus far, Mueller and his team of prosecutors indicted 32 individuals and three Russian businesses on charges ranging from computer hacking to conspiracy and financial crimes.

Sessions, 71, has a long political history in Alabama.

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