Published: Fri, November 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Jeff Sessions forced out after months of Trump abuse over Mueller probe

Jeff Sessions forced out after months of Trump abuse over Mueller probe

He managed a Senate campaign for Sam Clovis in Iowa, who later was nominated to join the Trump administration, ran Iowa for Trump, and was interviewed by Mueller's investigators.

Richard Blumenthal said President Donald Trump's firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a "break the glass moment". Several months ago, Republicans warned that were Trump to replace Sessions, the Senate might not get to a successor, but those admonitions have evaporated. "But, No. 2, our paramount view is that any attorney general, whether this one or another one, should not be able to interfere with the Mueller investigation in any way".

The Justice Department did not directly answer whether Whitaker would assume control of Mueller's investigation, with spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores saying he would be "in charge of all matters under the purview of the Department of Justice".

Organizers are demanding Whitaker recuse himself from overseeing the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, citing his past critical statements that they say show clear conflicts of interest.

No decisions are expected soon, and the list of those being considered - which also includes Rudy Giuliani, outgoing Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, and former Attorney General William Barr, who served under President George H.W. Bush - is likely to grow in the coming days, CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett reports.

Trump's relationship with Sessions frayed just weeks into his tenure, when he stepped aside from the Russian Federation investigation.

The Democrats, who won the House in the mid-terms, have vowed to protect it.

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That left Rosenstein overseeing the investigation, and he named Mueller as special counsel.

President Donald Trump listens to a question during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 7, 2018, in Washington.

In that scenario, Mueller's budget could be reduced "so low that his investigation grinds to nearly a halt", Whitaker said during an interview with CNN in July 2017 before he joined the Justice Department.

Congressional Democrats, concerned about protecting Mueller, called on Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing the investigation in its final but potentially explosive stages.

The deputy attorney general appointed Mr Mueller to lead the inquiry after Mr Trump fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey in 2017.

Trump originally said he fired Comey on the recommendation of Sessions and Rosenstein for mishandling the inquiry into Clinton's use of private email when she was secretary of state, although the president later acknowledged he acted because of Comey's pursuit of "this Russian Federation thing".

He bolstered the agenda of Trump's evangelical supporters with new rules letting employers opt out of providing health insurance that covers birth control and paving the way for religious businesses and employees to discriminate based on their closely held beliefs.

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