WASHINGTON, DC - Jeff Sessions has resigned as attorney general. “At your request, I am submitting my resignation,” Sessions wrote in a letter to Trump. In a tweet, Trump said Matthew Whitaker, Chief of Staff to Attorney General Sessions, will become the new acting Attorney General of the United States.
Sessions departure from the Justice Department is not unexpected, as the president has signaled changes to his administration after the midterms, but no one faced more rumors of an imminent dismissal than Sessions.
For more than a year, Trump has repeatedly lambasted Sessions over his recusal, saying he wouldn’t have installed Sessions as the country’s top law enforcement officer had he known his attorney general would recuse himself from the Russia probe. Sessions removed himself from the Russia investigation in March of 2017, citing his involvement as a high-profile surrogate and adviser to Trump’s campaign.
U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement praising U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions after his resignation:
“Attorney General Sessions has selflessly dedicated more than 40 years to serving the people of Alabama and the nation. As our country’s top law enforcement official, he has been integral in fighting the opioid epidemic, keeping violent criminals off our streets, and supporting victims. Those who know him understand his commitment to the rule of law, and his deep and abiding concern for our country.”
“I've had the honor of working closely with Jeff since I came to the Senate, and I'm proud to call him a friend. I wish Jeff and Mary the best of luck in their next chapter, and I hope everyone will join me in honoring his public service to the country.”