WASHINGTON, D.C., November 7, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Attorney General Jeff Sessions has resigned from the Trump administration the day after the 2018 midterm elections, ending months of speculation.
“At your request, I am submitting my resignation,” Sessions wrote in a letter confirming the move. “In my time as Attorney General we have restored and upheld the rule of law – a glorious tradition that each of us has a responsibility to safeguard.”
Trump announced Wednesday afternoon that Sessions’ chief of staff Matthew Whitaker will serve as Acting Attorney General until a permanent replacement is selected and confirmed.
Sessions was a pro-life, pro-family senator and one of candidate Trump’s earliest backers, and went on to use his position at the head of the Justice Department to reverse Obama-era transgender policies, promote religious liberty, and endorse campus free speech.
His relationship with the president quickly soured, however, with Trump and others blaming Sessions for allowing the controversial Mueller investigation to grow and linger for so long, as well as for allegedly refusing to pursue any potential crimes by the previous administration. Trump himself took to publicly complaining about his own attorney general on numerous occasions.
Despite Trump’s repeated attacks, observers wondered why he kept an appointee he was so unhappy with for so long, with most speculating Trump was waiting until the midterms to see if he would have enough Republican Senate votes to confirm a replacement. Yesterday’s election gave the GOP a net gain of at least two Senate seats.
Sessions’ move from the Senate to the administration also indirectly led to Alabama’s first Democrat senator since 1992. The pro-abortion Doug Jones won a special election to fill the vacancy after the national GOP abandoned the Republican nominee, socially-conservative judge Roy Moore, amid last-minute sexual assault allegations.
A new attorney general could potentially take a more proactive stance on investigating scandals such as Planned Parenthood’s sale of organs from aborted babies. Sessions’ Justice Department sought documents on the scandal for an investigation last year, but no developments have been announced since.
At The Federalist, Dr. John Eastman of the Claremont Institute and Chapman University's School of Law notes that Trump is reportedly considering former California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown to take Sessions’ place, a pick Eastman would wholeheartedly support.
“As President Trump has learned the hard way, there are entrenched interests within the bureaucracy and among the chattering classes that are absolutely committed to resisting his reforms,” Eastman writes. “Succeeding Sessions will require the courage—and the skill—to make the arguments and navigate against those within the bureaucracy intent on thwarting the elected government. Brown’s service has shown her capacity for these qualities time and again, and on issues that are a key focus to this administration.”