Russian Federation probe 'under threat' after Sessions fired

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As the probe continued to cloud his presidency, Trump kept complaining about Sessions recusing himself from supervising Mueller and entrusting the task instead to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He looked close to tears as he was applauded by the staff on his way out of the justice department building on Wednesday night.

Justice Department officials said that under normal circumstances, the deputy attorney general would likely play an active, hands-on role in overseeing such a high profile probe, and they had no reason to believe that Rosenstein would now be cut out.

In the letter, the group of state attorneys general note that Rosenstein appears to have adequately overseen the Russian Federation probe and "should continue to do so, as Mr. Mueller's work must proceed free from interference or supervision that would appear to many Americans to be biased".

Neil Cavuto countered that none of the three men are implicated in anything linking Trump and Russian Federation, as Mueller's original mandate appeared to intend.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins also voiced concern about the move, tweeting on Wednesday that "Special Counsel Mueller must be allowed to complete his work without interference - regardless of who is AG".

Jerry Role, a retired Department of Justice staffer told Al Jazeera that Trump's actions this week threatened the integrity of U.S. democracy. "Trump's attempt to be his own judge and jury is inconsistent with the rule of law and democracy".

During the 2016 election, Whitaker, who ran as a Republican for the U.S. Senate in Iowa in 2014, called for a special counsel to be named to investigate Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state.

Protests are scheduled to start Thursday at 5pm local time.

Rosenstein has several severe conflicts of interest when it comes to the Mueller probe and the Obama administration's "spygate" efforts against President Trump and his associates.

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He could also refuse to sign off on a subpoena of Trump if the president refuses to voluntarily speak to investigators.

That's because Sessions had recused himself, calling it inappropriate that he lead an inquiry into Trump's 2016 presidential campaign of which he was a part.

Trump was only a few weeks into his presidency in March 2017 when Sessions upset him by stepping aside from overseeing an Federal Bureau of Investigation probe of potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow, citing news reports of previously undisclosed meetings he had with Russia's ambassador to Washington for his recusal.

Recent acting and permanent attorneys general have been longtime government lawyers or high-ranking politicians with more experience navigating Washington than Whitaker.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation is suddenly under threat in a way in hasn't been since it began.

While Whitaker is now Mueller's ultimate supervisor, it was not immediately clear whether that meant Rosenstein would step aside.

Some Democrats also considered Sessions too eager to do Trump's bidding and overly receptive to his grievances. "I'm saddened by the way people vote and where the country has gone".

Trump had been widely expected to fire Sessions after Tuesday's midterm elections.

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