U.S. Attorney General Sessions Resigns, Throwing Doubt On Russia Probe

U.S. Attorney General Sessions Resigns, Throwing Doubt On Russia Probe

It's not clear whether his connections to Sam Clovis, who if friends with Whitaker and has been questioned in the Mueller probe, and with the president would be enough to force his recusal.

A Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, on Thursday called Mueller's investigation a "headache" for USA authorities but said it "has nothing to do with us", and he declined to comment on Sessions' departure.

The Justice Department has declined to answer whether ethics officials have been asked to review if Whitaker should recuse himself from the Mueller probe.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had been overseeing the investigation, but Sessions' sudden ouster Wednesday means that baton passes to Whitaker.

Whitaker said during his time as a commentator for the CNN cable television network that the Mueller probe should be limited, and that if Sessions were fired then a new attorney general could cut Mueller's funding to the point the investigation would come to a halt.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is being considered by President Trump to become the next US attorney general, two national news services are reporting.

Top Democrats on multiple committees wrote to key Trump administration officials Wednesday night informing them that committees will be investigating Sessions' departure. He also obtained indictments against Russian individuals and companies accused of a sweeping conspiracy to hurt Democrat Hillary Clinton and ultimately to help Trump win. They also said they will continue to conduct parallel investigations alongside special counsel Robert Mueller's probe, and urging them to preserve all relevant documents.

Over the course of his investigation thus far, Mueller and his team of prosecutors indicted 32 individuals and three Russian businesses on charges ranging from computer hacking to conspiracy and financial crimes.

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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".

Spats between Trump and journalists can sometimes seem circus-like, but critics say the president's hot temper illustrates his deeper lack of respect for Washington norms - and allegedly for the law.

Congressional Democrats have already called on Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing the investigation.

Trump originally said he fired Comey on the recommendation of Sessions and Rosenstein for mishandling the inquiry into Clinton's use of private email when she was secretary of state, although the president later acknowledged he acted because of Comey's pursuit of "this Russian Federation thing".

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

Politico noted that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Sen.

Sessions clashed, though, with Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, resisting his proposals to overhaul the criminal justice system and standing by his hard-line approach to imprisonment and sentencing.

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