How will Jeff Sessions' ouster affect the Mueller probe?

Ballot measures that would approve marijuana for recreational or medical use were endorsed in three states. Voters in North Dakota rejected legalization. (Bryan Anselm  The

Ballot measures that would approve marijuana for recreational or medical use were endorsed in three states. Voters in North Dakota rejected legalization. (Bryan Anselm The

Sessions, a Republican and former Alabama senator, has been the focus of public attacks by Trump, who criticized him for recusing himself from the Russian Federation investigation because of his role on the Trump campaign team before becoming attorney general.

As Whitaker takes the reins at the DOJ for now, the candidate search for a permanent replacement is said to include former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who is leaving due to term limits, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said Mueller's probe will continue to its end "because no new attorney general can be can be confirmed who will stop that investigation". Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that "protecting Mueller and his investigation is paramount".

The Justice Department did not directly answer whether Whitaker would assume control of Mueller's investigation, with spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores saying he would be "in charge of all matters under the purview of the Department of Justice".

In the House of Representatives, the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee - which Democrats will control from January - called for an investigation of Sessions' firing.

Organizers are demanding Whitaker recuse himself from overseeing the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, citing his past critical statements that they say show clear conflicts of interest. President Trump forced Sessions out as the nation's chief law enforcement officer on Wednesday, one day after Democrats captured the House in the midterm elections. The group also urged people to pressure Congress to protect the Mueller investigation.

"It is imperative that the Administration not impede the Mueller investigation", she tweeted.

Democrats, who won the lower house of Congress in Tuesday's midterm elections, now see Trump as close to crossing that line with the ultimate goal of covering up alleged crimes.

There is some question whether Mr Sessions was sacked or resigned. Shortly after, the White House took the extremely rare measure of revoking Acosta's press pass. The recusal left the investigation in the hands of Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller two months later after Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey.

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".

A political analyst in the state predicted Sessions would run for the seat.

Donald Trump emerged from midterm elections promising cooperation only to plunge Washington into turmoil Thursday over suspicions that he's trying to kill the Russian Federation collusion probe and an extraordinary intensification of his war with journalists.

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