Published: Fri, November 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Mueller writing final report on Russian Federation probe, submission timeline unclear

Mueller writing final report on Russian Federation probe, submission timeline unclear

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".

"Under Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, it is imperative that the important work of the Justice Department continues, and that the Mueller investigation proceeds to its conclusion unimpeded", he said on Twitter.

When asked if he would fire Mueller, as some critics have feared, Trump said, "I could have ended it any time I wanted, [but] I didn't".

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.

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. He wrote a year ago on CNN.com that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should limit the scope of Mueller's investigation to stop him from delving into Trump's finances.


Graham also praised Sessions, saying he had "served our nation well and honorably" and "dedicated his whole life to conservatism and upholding the Rule of Law". He also obtained indictments against Russian individuals and companies accused of a sweeping conspiracy to hurt Democrat Hillary Clinton and ultimately to help Trump win. They also want Congress to take steps to protect the special counsel's office.

The resignation, in a one-page letter to Trump, came one day after Republicans lost control of the House and was the first of several expected post-midterms Cabinet and White House departures. Democrats are particularly interested in how Whitaker will oversee the Mueller probe, given his past comments questioning the scope of the investigation.

Whitaker has, however, argued for limitations on the investigation. 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.

There is some question whether Mr Sessions was sacked or resigned. The recusal left the investigation in the hands of Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller two months later after Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey. Days after ousting Comey, Trump said he was thinking of "this Russian Federation thing" when he made a decision to dismiss him.

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 US and forcing the separation of migrant families as part of a border crossing crackdown.

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