Protests in North Alabama after Jeff Sessions forced to resign

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Trump installed Matt Whitaker, chief of staff at the Justice Department, as acting attorney general and put him in charge of the Russian Federation probe led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, according to a US official.

Whitaker, a former United States attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, had served as Sessions's chief-of-staff since September 2017.

Many voiced concerns Wednesday that Whitaker may have potential conflicts of interest, especially in light of his attacks on the investigation. "That goes beyond the scope of the appointment of the special counsel."Beyond the Mueller investigation, Whitaker revealed himself to be a hardline conservative when he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2014 before eventually losing in a primary to Sen". Chuck Schumer, said he should recuse himself because of his comments on the probe. Rep.

Under government ethics regulation, federal employees are required to recuse themselves from matters where their impartiality could reasonably be questioned. To dismiss a special counsel, the President has to order the attorney-general or, in the case of a recusal, the deputy attorney-general, to carry it out.

The Democrats said they also want the Justice Department to protect the integrity of Mueller's investigation and to preserve relevant documents. Christie was initially considered as a contender for the attorney general position during the transition.

"I think if you were to ask anyone with DOJ experience they would say 'Huh?"

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Could a Mueller firing be challenged on legal grounds? The law was meant to address vacancies created by deaths or resignations, but it is not clear it also applies to those created by firings. So it came as little surprise when Sessions' resigned the day after the midterms were over.

"Dear Mr President, at your request I am submitting my resignation", Mr Sessions said in his letter.

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But Paul Rosenzweig, a former senior counsel to independent counsel Kenneth Starr, said he thought such a lawsuit would be unlikely to succeed because the US Supreme Court has said the president has wide latitude to fire executive branch officials.

"It is imperative that the Administration not impede the Mueller investigation", she tweeted. The will also have the power to issue subpoenas.

In piercing attacks, Trump called Sessions weak and beleaguered, complained that he wasn't more aggressively pursuing allegations of corruption against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and called it "disgraceful" that Sessions wasn't more serious in scrutinizing the origins of the Russian Federation investigation for possible law enforcement bias - even though the attorney general did ask the Justice Department's inspector general to examine those claims. "The notification to Congress is mostly about transparency".