Attorney General Jeff Sessions has resigned, according to NPR. Sessions stepped down Wednesday at the request of President Donald Trump the day after Democrats retook control of the House of Representatives and Republicans maintained control of the Senate in the 2018 midterm elections.
News of Sessions’ resignation from the top law enforcement office in the land comes just hours after multiple stories were published, detailing Trump’s unwillingness to comment on the former attorney general’s future.
“President Donald Trump said he’ll make some staff changes following the midterm elections where Republicans lost the House but expanded their majority in the Senate,” reads a story from USA Today. “The president offered no specifics at a post-election news conference Wednesday and declined to discuss the fate of Attorney General Jeff Sessions or other members of his Cabinet.”
President Trump further detailed that he did not intend to shut down Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election that installed him into office.
Following news that Sessions had resigned, President Trump tweeted that he would be replaced in the interim by Matthew Whitaker, Sessions’ chief of staff, as acting attorney general. At this time, there is no indication of who the president aims to have take over the position permanently. There has been a lot of speculation regarding this change over the past few months, and it seems likely a solid shortlist of potential candidates will emerge quite soon.
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….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2018
It was no secret that Trump and Sessions were at odds with one another and rumors had been floating around about this potential departure for some time now. In addition, there had been a great deal of speculation in recent weeks that the attorney general might be fired as soon as the midterms were over.
Vox shares the content of the resignation letter that Sessions provided to the president on Wednesday. As the site notes, this is another case where a high-level member of the administration has technically resigned but in reality was essentially fired.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) November 7, 2018
Sessions had previously signaled that he would not be willing to resign and Trump would have to fire him. However, it looks as if things proceeded to the point of no return in this dynamic. The departing attorney general wrote that he has done his duty and served his country to the best of his ability, and he says they have operated with integrity while advancing the administration’s policy agenda.
Now, people across the nation will be watching closely to see what changes within the Department of Justice with Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ departure. The change in staffing may not be unexpected, but it will generate major waves regardless.