UPDATE: Progressive organizations have organized protests to take place in cities and communities nationwide. This Thursday at 5 p.m. local time, Americans will rally at locations all across the country. Join them.
#TrumpIsNotAboveTheLaw. Trump has crossed a red line – and we’re mobilizing. In January, our newly elected MoCs should launch investigations & hearings on day one. And tomorrow at 5 PM (local time), we march in the streets. Find an event near you: https://t.co/vcNlC5T8oe
— Indivisible Guide (@IndivisibleTeam) November 7, 2018
In firing Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump has crossed a red line and started a constitutional crisis. We are activating our rapid-response network, launching mass protests nationwide TOMORROW (11/8) at 5pm local time.
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) November 7, 2018
In a move that most of America has seen coming for months, Jeff Sessions has been removed as Attorney General and replaced by Mathew Whitaker.
Sessions’ forced resignation at the request of Trump comes less than a day after the midterm elections that won the Democrats the House. Yet Sessions has endured months of verbal abuse by the president despite his early endorsement during Trump’s presidential campaign.
….We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well! A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2018
That Trump fired Jeff Sessions the day after Democrats won the House shows that he is completely terrified of what Democrats will do next. https://t.co/6i74d6WgiI
— Shaun King (@shaunking) November 7, 2018
Matthew Whitaker, who will stand in as Attorney General until a new one can be nominated, was Sessions’ Chief of Staff and will therefore be able to step into the position easily.
“It is a true honor that the President has confidence in my ability to lead the Department of Justice as Acting Attorney General,” Whitaker said in a statement Wednesday evening. “I am committed to leading a fair Department with the highest ethical standards, that upholds the rule of law, and seeks justice for all Americans.”
Of Sessions, Whitaker added he “has been a dedicated public servant for over 40 years. It has been a privilege to work under his leadership. He is a man of integrity who has served this nation well.”
But Whitaker could be bad news for the Mueller investigation. In a new statement from DOJ it is suggested that Whitaker would now be overseeing the Mueller investigation until a new nominee is confirmed. Jeff Sessions had recused himself from overseeing the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s campaign amid harsh criticism. The Justice Department says Whitaker’s purview includes the special counsel’s investigation.
Whitaker historically has not been supportive of the investigation. “Mueller has come up to a red line in the Russia 2016 election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing,” Whitaker wrote in an op-ed last year. He called for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller and who has been supervising his work, to curb the investigation.
The emphasis of Whitaker's CNN article, in which he argued that Rosenstein should order Mueller to limit the scope of the investigation, was Trump's financial affairs and those of Trump's family. Whitaker argued that those should be off limits.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 7, 2018
Also, as NPR notes, having an Attorney General that hasn’t recused himself may give the White House a clearer view into the investigation.
Still many are happy to see Sessions go. “Jeff Sessions’ long history of racism and lying under oath would have disqualified him from serving as Attorney General under anyone but a racist liar like Donald Trump,” CREDO Action Co-Director Heidi Hess said. “No one who cares equal justice under the law will be sad to see him leave the Justice Department.”