Trump Forces Out U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Announces Interim Replacement

Sessions' departure comes amid a deep rift with the president over his recusal from the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election

Reuters
Haaretz
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
U.S. President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the FBI National Academy graduation ceremony in Quantico, Va, 2017.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the FBI National Academy graduation ceremony in Quantico, Va, 2017.Credit: Evan Vucci,AP
Reuters
Haaretz

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced his resignation on Wednesday after unrelenting criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump over his recusal from an investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential race.

Sessions' departure was widely expected to come soon after Tuesday's congressional elections in which Republicans retained their majority in the Senate but lost control of the House of Representatives.

Never in modern history has a president attacked a Cabinet member as frequently and harshly in public as Trump did Sessions, 71, who had been one of the first members of Congress to back his presidential campaign in 2015.

>> Read more: The era of total Trump control is overNight of firsts: From gay and Jewish to Native American and MuslimThe biggest loser of the MidtermsThank you, America's women. You may yet save the world

Trump announced Sessions' departure on Twitter. Sessions said in a letter to Trump that he resigned at the president's request. Sessions' chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, will be acting attorney general, Trump said on Twitter.

Sessions departs as the nation's top law enforcement officer while Special Counsel Robert Mueller, operating under the auspices of the Justice Department, pursues a wide-ranging Russia investigation that already has yielded a series of criminal charges against several of Trump's associates and has dogged his presidency.

Rep. Jerry Nadler demanded an explanation immediately after the announcement. "Americans must have answers immediately as to the reasoning behind @realDonaldTrump removing Jeff Sessions from @TheJusticeDept. Why is the President making this change and who has authority over Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation? We will be holding people accountable.

With Democrats grabbing control of the House of Representatives, Nadler will become the chairman of the Judiciary Committee – and could preside over impeachment proceedings against Trump.

Journalist Bob Woodward's book, "Fear: Trump in the White House," claims the president called Sessions "mentally retarded." The book, which contains explosive anecdotes about Trump's first 18 months in office, quotes the president as saying of Sessions: "He’s this dumb Southerner. … He couldn’t even be a one-person country lawyer down in Alabama."

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

NOW: 40% OFF
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

הקלטות מעוז

Jewish Law Above All: Recordings Reveal Far-right MK's Plan to Turn Israel Into Theocracy

איתמר בן גביר

Why I’m Turning My Back on My Jewish Identity

Travelers looking at the Departures board at Ben Gurion Airport. The number of olim who later become yordim is unknown.

Down and Out: Why These New Immigrants Ended Up Leaving Israel

Beatrice Grannò and Simona Tabasco as Mia and Lucia in "The White Lotus."

The Reality Behind ‘The White Lotus’ Sex Work Fantasy

The Mossad hit team in Dubai. Exposed by dozens of security cameras

This ‘Dystopian’ Cyber Firm Could Have Saved Mossad Assassins From Exposure

מליאת הכנסת 28.12.22

Comeback Kid: How Netanyahu Took Back Power After 18 Months in Exile