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Sessions forced out as AG as Trump installs loyalist

IANS  |  Washington 

The US has wrestled back control of the probe by General and replacing him with a loyalist who has echoed Donald Trump's complaints about the investigation into the election interference.

Sessions delivered his resignation letter to the on Wednesday at the request of the The former who was an early supporter of Trump, made clear the decision to go was not his own.

"Dear Mr President, at your request I am submitting my resignation," he wrote in an undated letter.

Sessions's Matthew Whitaker, who has criticised the inquiry will take over temporarily, raising questions about the future of the probe led by

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

Till now, Rod J. Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General, oversaw the investigation because Sessions recused himself in March 2017, citing his active role in Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

A Justice Department said Whitaker's role in the probe will be subject to the normal review process for conflicts, reported.

Democrats were outraged by Session's removal and demanded that Whitaker also remove himself from taking charge of the inquiry, citing potential conflicts of interest, including his criticisms of the Mueller investigation as well as his connections to a witness in that investigation, Sam Clovis, a former Trump

In 2014, Whitaker was the of Clovis' unsuccessful campaign to become

"Given his previous comments advocating defunding and imposing limitations on the Mueller investigation, Whitaker should recuse himself from its oversight for the duration of his time as acting attorney general," said.

of Representatives Democratic said: "It is impossible to read Sessions' firing as anything other than another blatant attempt by Trump to undermine and end Mueller's investigation."

Former Eric Holder, who served during Barack Obama's administration, tweeted that anyone who tried to interfere with the Mueller investigation "must be held accountable".

On Tuesday, after the voters chose a divided government by handing the majority back to Democrats, the said Trump made his hallmark -- the sort of "I-do-what-feels-right-when-it-feels-right" move -- just like it has been over the past three years.

Whitaker could hold the Attorney General's post for roughly 200 days because he has not been confirmed previously by the Senate. He has not shied away from sharing his concerns over the investigation.

In August 2017, he wrote a piece for in which he stated that looking into Trump's personal finances or those of his family, "goes beyond the scope of the appointment of the special counsel".

He went on to call on Rosenstein to "order Mueller to limit the scope of the investigation" or risk the inquiry starting "to look like a political fishing expedition".

Meanwhile, Trump in a wide-ranging and sharp-tongued news conference on Wednesday said that any hope for bipartisan deals would evaporate if House Democrats use their new power to investigate him or his administration.

Such efforts, he said bluntly, would precipitate "a warlike posture".

Democrats said they plan to begin a series of investigations of the President, including issuing a subpoena for his tax returns, which he has for years refused to release.

During his combative conference, Trump repeatedly lost his cool as he answered questions from journalists. He called CNN's "a rude, terrible person", snapped at of News and directed April Ryan of to "sit down".

Later, the withdrew the from the Acosta for confronting Trump following the mid-term results.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 08 2018. 14:38 IST