Jeff Sessions Resigns (at Trump's Request)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has handed in his resignation to Donald Trump, who has been furious with Sessions ever since, under massive public pressure, he made the uncharacteristically ethical decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

Right from the opening line of his resignation letter, Sessions wants us to know that he was actually fired: "Dear Mr. President: At your request, I am submitting my resignation."

It has long been expected that Sessions would be part of a "realignment" at the White House following the midterm elections, but Trump really didn't waste any damn time. Just one day after House Democrats got subpoena power and Sessions is out, opening up a slot for a loyalist who will leverage the power of the Justice Department to obstruct justice on behalf of the president.

Whoever fills the vacancy left by Sessions' departure will also be tasked with stymieing Special Counsel Bob Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (if he isn't unceremoniously booted out the door, too), as well as making sure that any report Mueller issues, should he ever issue one, never sees the light of day.

We don't know yet who Trump will nominate to replace Sessions, but, in the meantime, MSNBC's Kyle Griffin notes on Twitter: "The new acting Attorney General, Matthew Whitaker, wrote this last year: 'Mueller's investigation of Trump is going too far.'"

So things aren't looking up in the interim, and I fear that some of the odious bootlickers who just lost their elections yesterday, like Kris Kobach or Dana Rohrabacher, will end up on the shortlist for Sessions' permanent replacement.

Senator Lindsey Graham has been shamelessly angling for the job for quite some time, despite protestations to the contrary, so I suppose he's got as good a shot as anyone if Trump decides not to just zerofucks Ivanka into the role, or something equally ludicrous, while he's still got a stranglehold on Congress.

Also: I don't know the law on this (not that it matters), but I'm wondering if Trump will try to wrest the oversight of the Mueller investigation away from Rosenstein when the new AG doesn't have the same conflicts that Sessions had (or the same compunction about recusing himself because of said conflicts). Unless, of course, Rosenstein secretly struck an ugly deal with Trump in one of those recent meetings, to secure the AG position in exchange for his cooperation. My feeling is that Trump will do whatever the fuck he wants, without regard for laws, norms, or precedent, because he has aggressive contempt for the law.

Sessions is a horrible dude with a reprehensible commitment to bigotry against marginalized people. He's spent an inglorious career being as corrupt as he is indecent. I was horrified when he was selected to be the nation's Attorney General, and I'm not sad to see the back of his vile tenure — but I know whoever comes next is going to be even worse.

UPDATE: Trump has removed Rosenstein from oversight of the Mueller investigation. Acting AG Whitaker has now been given control.

Rep. Ted Lieu notes on Twitter: "Normally the president would elevate the Deputy AG to Acting AG until a nominee is confirmed. Donald Trump is specifically bypassing Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and putting supervision of the Mueller probe in the hands of Matthew Whitaker, a person biased against the probe."

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