Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at the Religious Liberty Summit at the Department of Justice July 30, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Sessions Fired Hours After Midterm Elections, With Trump Naming Mueller Investigation Skeptic As Interim Successor

"That Trump fired Jeff Sessions the day after Democrats won the House shows that he is completely terrified of what Democrats will do next."

Julia Conley

This is a developing story and may be updated.

Ending a White House tenure marked by hard-line immigration policies that were condemned by the international community and repeated attacks from President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he had resigned at the request of President Donald Trump on Wednesday.

Following an aggressive, meandering press conference where he discussed Tuesday's election results, Trump announced on Twitter that Sessions had resigned and would be replaced for the time being by his former chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, until a new attorney general is nominated.

Sessions was the first senator to endorse Trump's presidential campaign in 2016 and was a vocal supporter of him on the campaign trail.

"Jeff Sessions' long history of racism and lying under oath would have disqualified him from serving as Attorney General under anyone but a racist liar like Donald Trump," CREDO Action Co-Director Heidi Hess said. "No one who cares equal justice under the law will be sad to see him leave the Justice Department."

But a rift between the president and Sessions began almost immediately after the attorney general took office, when he recused himself from overseeing the FBI's investigation into Trump's campaign amid harsh criticism and demands from government ethics groups.

"Jeff Sessions' long history of racism and lying under oath would have disqualified him from serving as Attorney General under anyone but a racist liar like Donald Trump. No one who cares equal justice under the law will be sad to see him leave the Justice Department." —Heidi Hess, CREDO ActionThe president has insisted repeatedly that Sessions should not have recused himself, suggesting a fundamental misunderstanding of the attorney general's role—to defend not the president in legal matters, but the nation.

Trump tweeted that a new nominee for attorney general will be announced at a later date. For now, the Justice Department will be headed by Whitaker, who in 2017 penned an opinion piece for CNN in which he argued that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump's possible obstruction of justice and his campaign's contacts with Russia was "going too far."

Moreover, a statement from the DOJ suggested that Whitaker would now be overseeing the Mueller investigation until a new nominee is confirmed, as he has not recused himself from doing so.

"We're deeply concerned that Trump is again trying to interfere with the Trump-Russia investigation by forcing Sessions' resignation," Hess said.

 
"Whoever becomes the next Attorney General of the United States—whether acting or permanent—must make a public commitment not to interfere in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation," said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Experts Warn Biden-Backed Aukus Deal Spells 'Disaster' for Climate Cooperation With China

One U.K. lawmaker said reaching a "positive outcome" at the upcoming talks in Glasgow "just got a whole lot harder."

Jon Queally ·


Patient Group Targets Pair of Democrats for 'Selling Us Out to Drug Companies'

"It makes me so angry that members of Congress are choosing Big Pharma over patients. It's unforgivable."

Jake Johnson ·


Judge Blocks Biden From Continuing 'Inhumane' Trump Policy to Deport Families

"This is not the end of the battle against this practice," said one rights group, "but it is a major step to ensure that the U.S. welcomes these asylum-seeking families—as we should."

Jessica Corbett ·


400+ Economists Press Congress to Permanently Expand Child Tax Credit

Such an expansion would "dramatically reduce childhood poverty in the United States," they said.

Andrea Germanos ·


Biden Admin. Sued for Letting Big Oil Harass 'Imperiled' Polar Bears

"We're hopeful the court will overturn this dangerous rule that puts polar bears in the crosshairs."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo