On Wednesday, Jeff Sessions resigned from his position as Attorney General at the request of President Trump. He was then replaced by a staunch opponent of Robert Mueller’s investigation of possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
Sessions went through a contentious nomination process and was an early Trump supporter. Despite this support, Sessions made the decision to recuse himself from the Mueller probe when it was revealed that he met with a Russian official. Trump strongly opposed this move, and for over a year has attacked Sessions consistently.
In Sessions’ place, Trump appointed Michael Whitaker as the Acting Attorney General. Whitaker has publicly criticized the Mueller investigation, writing in a 2017 opinion piece, “Mueller has come up to a red line in the Russia 2016 election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing.”
Trump’s actions have raised concerns over his motives and has brought forth fresh allegations of obstruction of justice. The president, who may be under investigation himself, has also criticized the probe, and his actions indicate he may be trying to reign it in with the Whitaker appointment. Some are already calling for Whitaker to recuse himself from the investigation, as Sessions did when he was Attorney General.
Trump’s move also comes just one day after the midterm elections, in which the Democrats regained control of the House. With a Democratic-controlled House, it is possible that the scope of the investigations may broaden in the future.