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Read Jeff Sessions' full resignation letter and President Trump's response
08 November 2018, 04:47 | Darnell Patrick
BREAKING: Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigns at President Trump’s request
By naming Whitaker, who has been serving as Sessions's chief of staff, as the acting attorney general, Trump effectively appointed the former federal prosecutor to oversee the investigation into his 2016 campaign's contacts with Russian Federation, taking that responsibility away from Deputy Attorney GeneralRod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller after Sessions had recused himself from the matter.
Trump announced in a separate tweet that he was naming Sessions' chief of staff MatthewWhitaker, a former United States attorney from Iowa, as acting attorney general.
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The acting attorney general thanked Trump Wednesday evening, calling the president's confidence in him "a true honor".
This sets of a series of questions about the implications of the change on Special Investigator Robert Mueller.
Deputy Attorney GeneralRod Rosenstein, who has had a contentious relationship with Trump in the past, is now still overseeing the Russian Federation probe.
Trump said: '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'.
But there has also been speculation Mr Trump could try to kill or suppress the 18 month-old probe, pressing his view that Mr Mueller leads a team staffed by Democrats operating under an illegal mandate.
As recently as September, Trump suggested Sessions may have cost two "very popular Republican congressman" their seats.
Nearly immediately after his appointment was announced on Wednesday, top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer insisted Whitaker should recuse himself from any role overseeing the investigation.
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