Russian Federation probe 'under threat' after Sessions fired

Russian Federation probe 'under threat' after Sessions fired

Trump named Matthew Whitaker, a public critic of the investigation, as acting attorney general, prompting an outcry from Democrats and a handful of Senate Republicans who fear Whitaker will try to interfere with the probe.

However, with Republicans tightening their grip on the Senate, an initially magnanimous-sounding Trump suggested that a divided Congress would bring opportunity for bipartisan cooperation - something in low supply in Washington.

President Trump had repeatedly unloaded on Sessions for recusing himself from the Russian Federation investigation, which allowed Rosenstein to appoint Mueller.

Tonight, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was pushed out Wednesday as the country's chief law enforcement officer after enduring more than a year of blistering and personal attacks from President Donald Trump over his recusal from the Russian Federation investigation.

Whitaker was virtually unknown to Sessions before becoming his chief of staff.

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". He looked close to tears as he was applauded by the staff on his way out of the justice department building on Wednesday night.

Democrats voiced fears the removal of the top USA law enforcement officer may be an attempt to undermine or end the investigation. That has convinced many opponents of Trump that the president has Mueller in his crosshairs.

Warner criticized Trump for not appointing a bureaucrat who previously got senatorial confirmation - naming Rosenstein and Solicitor General Noel Francisco.

Those include an opinion piece on CNN.com in which he said Mueller would be going too far, and straying beyond his mandate, if he were to investigate Trump's family finances. "By forcing the firing (of) the attorney general, the president now threatens the rule of law itself".

Some senior Republicans, such as former presidential candidate and Utah Senator-elect Mitt Romney, have urged Whitaker to allow the Mueller investigation to run unimpeded.

The protests come a day after Trump effectively fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a move many see as clearing the way for Trump to go after Mueller.

Outside US Congress, progressives activated a plan for mass protests across the United States, starting at 5 p.m. on Thursday in all time zones. He said that reasonable people can agree with Whitaker's perspective on the Mueller investigation, but "I'm sure that's something that got the president's attention".

Sessions took himself out of decision-making on the probe in March 2017 even after Trump dispatched the White House lawyer to persuade him not to do so, according to a person familiar with the matter.

It culminated in the White House later banning a CNN reporter who questioned the President aggressively on why he insisted on calling a migrant caravan that is hundreds of miles from the U.S. border an 'invasion'.

The deputy attorney general appointed Mr Mueller to lead the inquiry after Mr Trump fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey in 2017.

Whitaker has made it known that he is hostile to the probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians and the president obstructed justice.

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