Sessions reportedly put in his resignation on Wednesday, just one day after the 2018 midterm elections. President Trump seemed to confirm this news in a tweet, where he also announced that Sessions would be replaced by his Chief of Staff Matthew G. Whitaker for the time being.
"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," he wrote. "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.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2018
"We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well! A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date," he concluded.
The White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later confirmed that Sessions' letter was both submitted and accepted on Wednesday. However, there is still no word on whether it happened before or after the president's explosive press conference, where he called out several reporters in personal attacks.
"At your request, I am submitting my resignation," read Sessions' letter in part, confirming that the president had asked for his resignation directly. He went on to give highlights of his time in office, noting that his Justice Department had taken on "transnational gangs that are bringing violence and death across our borders and protected national security."
The news caused a stir in political circles, where many were already watching closely for midterm election analysis. Whitaker may pose a threat to the special counsel investigation into Russian meddling and collusion, as he has taken a strong stand in the president's favor. Back in August of 2017, before he was hired by the Justice Department, he wrote an opinion piece published by CNN arguing against the investigation as a whole.
"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," he argued.0comments
With this in mind, many pundits are now wondering if Sessions' forced resignation and Whitaker's appointment could be a reaction the midterm election results. By taking over the majority in the House of Representatives, they opened up the possibility of new investigations, subpoenas and other legal actions against the president.
For now, Whitaker's title is Acting Attorney General. President Trump will need to either make him Sessions' permanent replacement or hire someone else sometime soon.