Questions over Mueller probe after Trump fires Sessions

Questions over Mueller probe after Trump fires Sessions

Questions over Mueller probe after Trump fires Sessions

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 announcement, which came in a tweet, comes after months of speculation that Sessions could be on his way out after recusing himself from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections.

Now, his chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, 49, will fill in as Acting Attorney General.

He also worked on an earlier campaign in Iowa for one of Trump's presidential campaign leaders, Sam Clovis, who has figured in the Russian Federation investigation.

In a letter saying a constitutional crisis was looming, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee demanded action from the committee's Republican Chairman Bob Goodlatte, as well as bipartisan legislation to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from any effort to stymie the probe.

If Sessions' departure was an "opening move" by Trump to meddle in Mueller's investigation, Hoyer said in a statement, "the president must be held accountable".

The special counsel's team has been investigating Stone's connection to WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign and whether he had advance knowledge of the group's plans to release hacked material damaging to Democrat Hillary Clinton.

With the midterms over, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is believed to be preparing fresh indictments against Trump campaign figures, possibly including his son Donald Trump Jr. and a former campaign consultant Roger Stone, and could press for the president himself to answer questions.


Bondi has been a stauncher supporter of Trump during his campaign for the presidency and after taking office. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday that Whitaker should recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation given his previous public comments that appeared to exhibit hostility toward the inquiry.

The decision infuriated Trump, who repeatedly lamented that he would have never selected Sessions if he had known the attorney general would recuse. However, questions have been raised as to whether the investigation will be safeguarded from Whitaker, who has criticized it in the past.

"The president is entitled to an attorney general he has faith in", he said. "There's no collusion", Trump said on Wednesday.

There have been rumors that Graham was being considered for the attorney general job. A logjam broke when Republican senators who had publicly backed Sessions began signaling a willingness to consider a new attorney general.

Mr Trump tweeted shortly after the resignation was announced, naming a temporary replacement of Sessions.

Lamar Alexander, Republican senator for Tennessee, also issued a warning from the Republican side, saying that the Senate will not confirm a successor to Sessions who would stop the Russian Federation investigation.

Despite Trump's criticism, Sessions aggressively carried out the administration's conservative policies.

His agenda unsettled liberals who said that Sessions' focus on tough prosecutions marked a return to failed drug war tactics that unduly hurt minorities and the poor, and that his rollbacks of protections for gay and transgender people amount to discrimination.

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