Democrats signal they want to investigate Jeff Sessions' ouster and replacement

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, said he was resigning at the request of US President Donald Trump on Nov 7 2018

Rosenstein has been overseeing the Mueller probe after Sessions recused himself from the investigation, but a Department of Justice spokeswoman said Whitaker would be "in charge of all matters under the purview" of the DOJ. Nadler and other Democrats on the committee suggested the shakeup appears to be an effort to alter oversight of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe in a way that favors the president. He was a vocal critic of Mr Mueller, arguing in an op-ed for CNN a year ago that the probe should not go into the finances of Mr Trump and his family members.

There have been close relationships between the attorneys general and the White House before, but, at the end of the day, we need to have confidence that the integrity of our - particularly our criminal investigations, who's targeted, what type of evidence is collected, how it's collected is not directed for political purposes.

He also said the line of succession within the Justice Department does not include the chief of staff and the fact that someone in that position would be made acting attorney general is "very odd".

A personal connection to a Mueller witness is unlikely to sway Whitaker or the White House when it comes to recusal, as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein supervised the probe despite being a witness himself.

Democrats Seek Hearing on Trump's Ouster of Sessions
Some Democrats also considered Sessions too eager to do Trump's bidding and overly receptive to his grievances. Chuck Schumer, said he should recuse himself because of his comments on the probe.


Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had been overseeing the investigation, but Sessions' sudden ouster Wednesday means that baton passes to Whitaker. "Clearly, Attorney General Sessions doesn't have the confidence of the president".

Mr Sessions, who was an early backer of the Trump campaign, recused himself in March 2017 from overseeing the Russian Federation investigation under a similar rule which prohibits officials from overseeing investigations into subjects with whom they have a "a personal or political relationship".

In July 2017 Mr Trump told the New York Times: "Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else".

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Mueller's grand jury has heard testimony for months about Trump confidant Roger Stone and what advance knowledge he may have had about Russian hacking of Democratic emails.

In addition to Sessions' ouster, Democrats are also interested in looking into Mr. Trump's tax returns, and worldwide business dealings.

Trump's running commentary criticizing Sessions and the Justice Department injected more turmoil into an agency that was still reeling from the president's firing of FBI Director James Comey in May 2017.

Sessions took the lead in imposing Trump's travel ban targeting a number of mostly Muslim nations, canceling the so-called Dreamer program that let the children of undocumented immigrants remain in the USA and forcing the separation of migrant families as part of a border crossing crackdown.

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