President Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon as soon as news of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' resignation broke.
Sessions resigned from the Trump administration's Justice Department on Wednesday, just after midterm election results began to roll in. When his letter of resignation was published, it showed that the president has asked him to resign — effectively firing the embattled attorney. As this news circulated, President Trump took to Twitter with a message of his own, focusing more on Sessions' temporary replacement.
"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.
Sessions' abrupt departure from the Justice Department is almost certainly related to the Democrats' victory in the House of Representatives, and its implications in the Special Counsel investigation. With the majority in the house, Democrats can now take a more active role in investigating the president's finances and the possibility of collusion. They could also explore the possibility of impeachment.
Sessions recused himself from Robert Mueller's investigation early on, reasoning that he was too closely involved to be impartial. By contrast, the new Acting Attorney General, Whitaker, has been outspoken in opposition to the investigation. Before he was hired by the Justice Department, he wrote a lengthy opinion piece for CNN arguing that Mueller was over-reaching.
"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.
The idea that Sessions' resignation was related to this investigation was not lost on pundits, commentators or Democratic leaders. However, Republican lawmakers ignored these implications in their immediate reactions. Back in July of 2017, Lindsey Graham warned: "if Sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay." However, he took a much tamer tone in his tweet on Wednesday.
Lindsey Graham in July 2017: "If Sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay." (via CNN) pic.twitter.com/VmqsAjXNlJ— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 7, 2018
"Jeff Sessions served our nation well and honorably as Attorney General," he wrote. "He has dedicated his whole life to conservatism and upholding the Rule of Law. I look forward to working with President @realDonaldTrump 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."
As to me, I will be part of a larger Republican majority in the United States Senate -- working with the President and my Republican and Democratic colleagues -- to make America safer and more prosperous. (3/3)— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) November 7, 2018
"As to me, I will be part of a larger Republican majority in the United States Senate -- working with the President and my Republican and Democratic colleagues -- to make America safer and more prosperous," Graham concluded.