Trump named Sessions' chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, as acting attorney general, saying he would soon nominate a permanent replacement for review by the Senate. Democrats are particularly interested in how Whitaker will oversee the Mueller probe, given his past comments questioning the scope of the investigation. The move superseded the regular order of succession which would have placed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein the Acting AG role.
Sessions says he was proud to run the department and to work to reduce violent crime and overdose deaths. Trump, who denies any collusion, has long complained about the probe, calling it a witch-hunt. But the work is not done, and critical decisions await that could shape the remainder of Trump's presidency. Mueller's team also has been pressing for an interview with Trump.
But the Justice Department told CBS News on Wednesday that Whitaker will now oversee the probe.
Sessions then had his letter, which was undated, delivered to the White House.
When Democrats assume control of House committees next year, they will direct everything from the subject matter of investigations to the timing and substance of committee hearings.
Rosenstein remains at the department and could still be involved in oversight.
Could a Mueller firing be challenged on legal grounds?
Top Democrats on multiple committees wrote to key Trump administration officials Wednesday night informing them that committees will be investigating Sessions' departure.
Without Sessions' campaign or Russian Federation entanglements, there's no legal reason Whitaker couldn't immediately oversee the probe.
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 day of action organized by the nonprofit progressive group MoveOn an dubbed the "Mueller Protection Rapid Response" had been pre-planned in the event Sessions was pushed out of office. Chuck Schumer, said he should recuse himself because of his comments on the probe. Rep.
The president has repeatedly criticised Mr Sessions, a former Republican senator who was among the first to support Mr Trump's presidential candidacy. "The notification to Congress is mostly about transparency".
He had also pressed to reauthorize a controversial secret domestic spying program over the Justice Department's protests.
Trump repeatedly lamented that he would have never selected Sessions if he had known the attorney general would recuse himself.
In an effort to raise Hell about the forced resignation of Jeff Sessions and what it might mean for the Mueller investigation, Boston is joining nationwide protests Thursday with a 5 p.m. rally on Boston Common.
Whitaker was a hard-charging top aide to Sessions, imposing on the Justice Department his personal philosophy of starting with the end in mind.