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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned Wednesday as the country’s chief law enforcement officer after enduring more than a year of blistering and personal attacks over recusing himself from the Russia investigation.
Sessions announced his resignation in an undated letter to President Donald Trump. He said the resignation came at “your request.”
Trump announced in a tweet that Sessions’s chief of staff Matt Whitaker would become the new acting attorney general.
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 will serve our Country well….
Trump said a new replacement will be nominated at a later date.
When asked about Sessions’s future as attorney general at a wide-ranging press conference held earlier Wednesday, Trump ducked the question and said that, for the most part, he was extremely happy with his cabinet.
The resignation was the culmination of a toxic relationship that frayed just weeks into the attorney general’s tumultuous tenure, when he stepped aside from the investigation into potential co-ordination between the president’s campaign and Russia.
Trump blamed the decision for opening the door to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, who took over the Russia investigation and has since been examining, among other things, whether Trump’s hectoring of Sessions was part of a broader effort to obstruct justice.