Attorney General Jeff Sessions Steps Down at Trump's Request
He'll be replaced, at least for the time being, by his chief of staff.
Jeff Sessions has resigned as attorney general of the United States after President Donald Trump requested his resignation.
In a tweet this afternoon, Trump announced that Sessions would be replaced, at least for the time being, by his chief of staff, Matthew G. Whitaker. In another tweet, Trump thanked Sessions "for his service" and said "a permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date."
….We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well! A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2018
Sessions wrote in his resignation letter that he stepped down at Trump's request. "Since the day I was honored to be sworn in as Attorney General of the United States, I came to work at the Department of Justice every day determined to do my duty and serve my country," the letter reads, according to HuffPost reporter Ryan Reilly.
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) November 7, 2018
The letter went on to tout some of the actions the DOJ took under Sessions' tenure in regard to criminal justice, gang violence, immigration enforcement, and the opioid crisis. "I have been honored to serve as Attorney General and have worked to implement the law enforcement agenda based on the rule of law that formed a central part of your campaign for the Presidency," Sessions wrote.
Sessions' resignation is not all that surprising. Trump has long been displeased with his decision to recuse himself from the Justice Department's probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. "I don't have an attorney general. It's very sad," Trump told The Hill in September.
For months, it's been rumored that Sessions, the first senator to endorse Trump's presidential bid, could be ousted soon after the midterm elections.
Trump was asked about Sessions' future in the administration at a press conference earlier today, though he did not provide a direct response.
This post has been updated.