US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions fired by Donald Trump

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Sessions announced his plan to resign in a letter to the White House on Wednesday.

The move left unclear the fate of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller and has overseen his probe from the beginning. Since the day I was honored to be sworn in as Attorney General of the United States, I came to work at the Department every day determined to do my duty and serve my country.

Sessions said that he did not think he should lead the investigation since he had been a Trump campaign surrogate.

The president at one point fired off a list of tweets during Sessions' tenure criticizing the attorney general.

In June 2017, Whitaker appeared on a CNN panel on the Mueller probe.

The president has repeatedly criticised Mr Sessions, a former Republican senator and early supporter of Mr Trump's longshot candidacy.

Trump will now go through the process of looking for his new Attorney General, and that person will have to be confirmed by the Senate.

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

Later, Schumer tweeted that the new acting AG, Whitaker, should recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had said Wednesday morning that he expected the Senate's next term to be focused on confirmations, followed suit with his own statement wishing Sessions well and praising his "steadfast commitment to the rule of law".

Rosenstein, who normally would have become acting AG, is in charge of Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation.

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Whitaker already has some experience under his belt: he previously served as USA attorney in Des Moines, Iowa. Sessions' recusal prevented him from stopping the probe, which Trump has attacked as an unfair "witch hunt". But the president called him "very good person and a talented person". "He is only authorized to investigate matters that involved any potential links to and coordination between two entities - the Trump campaign and the Russian government".