CBS News November 7, 2018, 3:19 PM Jeff Sessions forced out as attorney general
Jeff Sessions has been forced out as attorney general. "At your request, I am submitting my resignation," Sessions wrote to the president Wednesday. President Trump tweeted the news, Wednesday, writing, "We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well!" Mr. Trump has repeatedly criticized Sessions for recusing himself from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
In his resignation letter, Sessions touted the department's initiatives, saying that the Justice Department had taken on "transnational gangs that are bringing violence and death across our borders and protected national security" and noted efforts on immigration enforcement and the opioid epidemic.
Matthew G. Whitaker, Sessions' chief of staff, will become acting attorney general, and notably, he'll also oversee the Russia investigation that the president often refers to as a "witch hunt." Before he joined to the Justice Department, Whitaker wrote an opinion piece for CNN in August 2017 criticizing the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Whitaker argued that Mueller could not investigate the Trump family's finances.
"It does not take a lawyer or even a former federal prosecutor like myself to conclude that investigating Donald Trump's finances or his family's finances falls completely outside of the realm of his 2016 campaign and allegations that the campaign coordinated with the Russian government or anyone else. That goes beyond the scope of the appointment of the special counsel," Whitaker wrote.
"Any investigation into President Trump's finances or the finances of his family would require Mueller to return to Rod Rosenstein for additional authority under Mueller's appointment as special counsel," Whitaker also wrote in the CNN piece in 2017.
Earlier Wednesday at the president's news conference, CBS News' Major Garrett had asked about potential changes in his Cabinet, in particular, whether Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would remain with the administration.
The president didn't offer a direct answer, saying only, "We're looking at different people for different positions." He added that he is mostly "extremely happy" with his Cabinet.
Read Sessions' resignation letter here: