Attorney General Jeff Sessions submits resignation letter

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Jeff Sessions resigned as President Donald Trump's attorney general on Wednesday at Trump's request.

"At your request, I am submitting my resignation", Mr Sessions said in the first line of a letter released by the Department of Justice. Referring to reports at the time that the special counsel probe had widened to focus on possible financial crimes, unconnected to the 2016 election, Whitaker wrote that it was time for the Justice Department "to order Mueller to limit the scope of his investigation".

Sessions' chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, will be acting attorney general, Trump said on Twitter.

Whitaker, who will now oversee the Mueller investigation, wrote an op-ed for CNN.com in August, 2017, arguing the Mueller would be going too far if he were investigating Trump's finances.

Mr Sessions' firing immediately threw into question whether the 18 month old Mueller probe will be able to continue unimpeded. "A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date", Trump tweeted.

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During a press conference at the White House Wednesday, President Trump said he is satisfied with the performance of "most of his Cabinet", but left room for major changes in the coming days and weeks.

Senator Susan Collins said: "It is imperative that the Administration not impede the Mueller investigation".

Trump issued a statement, saying that "we thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well!"

In an op-ed for CNN, Mr. Whitaker wrote- "Mueller has come up to a red line in the Russian Federation 2016 election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing".

Mr Whitaker will immediately oversee Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, taking the reins from Mr Sessions' deputy Rod Rosenstein. He will serve our Country well.

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Anyone who has paid attention to the long history of tension and humiliation between Sessions and Trump was not surprised.

"Given Mr. Whitaker's public comments on the Special Counsel's investigation and the President's obvious self-interest in appointing him to the Acting AG role, Mr. Whitaker should recuse himself", Warner tweeted.

"I am committed to leading a fair Department with the highest ethical standards, that upholds the rule of law, and seeks justice for all Americans", Whitaker said.

Sessions' also notably increased enforcement of the federal marijuana law, and worked to rollback discrimination protections for gay and transgender people.

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