Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigns following Trump intervention

Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigns following Trump intervention
2 min read
07 November, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is out of a job at Donald Trump's request.
Sessions has resigned as attorney general [Getty]

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Wednesday he was quitting his role as the US' top law enforcer after being instructed to resign by President Donald Trump.

"At your request I am submitting my resignation," Sessions wrote in his letter to Trump.

His role has seen him face a barrage of criticism from Trump, whose team has been under the spotlight following allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, which saw Trump elected as president.

Trump announced on Twitter that Sessions was stepping down from his role.

"We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well! A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date," Trump wrote.

He said that Sessions' chief-of-staff Matthew Whitaker will serve as acting attorney general.

The move raises questions over the future of a probe into the Trump team's alleged collusion with Russia.

Trump has accused Sessions of protecting Robert Mueller's investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow, and the president for obstructing justice.

Sessions' sacking will lead to questions as to whether Mueller's work can continue without interference from the government.

In March 2017 Sessions recused himself from involvement in and oversight of the nascent Russia collusion investigation due to his own Russian contacts during the 2016 campaign.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was given responsibility for overseeing the probe independently.

Trump has denied he will interfere in the probe but continued to call it an illegal "witch hunt" and waste of "millions" of dollars.

"I could fire everybody right now, but I don't want to stop it because politically I don't like stopping it," Trump told a White House news conference.

"I am not concerned about anything with the Russian investigation, because it is a hoax," he said. "There's no collusion."