Sessions resignation ignites fierce political reaction: 'This is a red line'

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Sessions quickly issued his own resignation letter, admitting that he was resigning at Trump's request.

Mr Sessions cited his role as a senior adviser to the Trump presidential campaign as the reason he would not oversee the probe and instead and appointed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to oversee the investigation.

Trump announced in a tweet that Sessions' chief of staff Matt Whitaker would become the new acting attorney general. He said the resignation came at "your request". Trump belittled Sessions but, perhaps following the advice of aides, held off on firing him.

Special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed in May.

In the long run, Sessions is convinced that the country will be better served by the investigation proceeding naturally, as the findings will be more credible to the American public, the person said.

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He vowed maintain "a close watch" on Mueller's investigation going forward "and the impact of the appointment of a new Attorney General".

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has endured more than a year of criticism from Donald Trump.

Sessions was an enforcer of much of the Trump administration's hardline approach on immigration and regularly praised the President's tough words on crime.

Under normal rules Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has been overseeing the Russian Federation probe, would become acting attorney general. Trump tweeted. "A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date". Sessions recused himself from oversight of any investigation that touched on the Trump campaign's alleged collusion with the Russian government, and thus lost his ability to shield Trump from investigative scrutiny. He is a conservative who has written op-eds in the past suggesting that the Mueller Investigation of Trump and the 2016 election has gone "too far", and has also run for elected office three times in the past, all times as a Republican. The attorney general, for his part, proved determined to remain in the position until dismissed.

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