Trump firing Sessions is a 'break the glass moment — Richard Blumenthal

Elias Hubbard
November 9, 2018

"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".

Democrats poised to take charge of House committees come January are signaling that they want to investigate the replacing of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions with Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker.

The midterm elections saw the Democrats win control of the lower house of Congress for the first time in eight years, meaning Trump will finally face an opposition that has teeth.

After recusing himself from the Russian Federation probe, the staunchly conservative Sessions spent his time ramping up efforts to combat violent gangs, drug use and illegal immigration - all key components of Trump's law-and-order agenda.

He managed a Senate campaign for Sam Clovis in Iowa, who later was nominated to join the Trump administration, ran Iowa for Trump, and was interviewed by Mueller's investigators. President Trump forced Sessions out as the nation's chief law enforcement officer on Wednesday, one day after Democrats captured the House in the midterm elections.

Sessions had recused himself from the investigation, because of his own contacts with Russians during the 2016 campaign, instead handing responsibility for Mueller to his deputy Rod Rosenstein.

And since Sessions technically resigned instead of forcing the White House to fire him, he opened the door under federal law to allowing the president to choose his successor instead of simply elevating Rosenstein, said University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck.

"Why is the President making this change and who has authority over Special Counsel Mueller's investigation?" "The American people understand that no person is above the law and have demanded accountability from their government".

Good cause is a hard thing to show, especially since Mueller's actions were approved by the deputy attorney general, said Jens Ohlin, a professor of criminal law at Cornell Law School.

The sacking followed months of Mr Trump criticising Mr Sessions, mainly for his decision to step aside from the Russian Federation inquiry in March 2017.

In her tweet, Pelosi, who is likely to become House speaker under the new Democratic-controlled Congress, wrote that "It is impossible to read Attorney General Sessions' firing as anything other than another blatant attempt by Donald Trump to undermine & end Special Counsel Mueller's investigation".

Mr Trump has vehemently denied any collusion took place, and repeatedly called for the inquiry to be shut down, calling it "the greatest political witch hunt in history".

Blumenthal, who sits on the Senate Judiciary and Armed Services committees, said Whitaker "is someone who provided a road map for how to stifle and strangle the special counsel investigation". Trump said Wednesday that he did not plan to stop the investigation. "They went after people with tax problems, from years ago".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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