Was Sessions fired or did he resign?
Ok, he’s out. Some are calling it a firing, others characterize Sessions departure as a resignation. There is a resignation letter, so it is a resignation. But, the first line says that he is resigning at the president’s request. Sessions didn’t want to go. He was greatly enjoying his final chance to serve the country. See link below for Sessions’ letter.
The letter has no date on it. A lot of speculation as to when it was written, but most likely in September 2018, when it now appeared Trump was going to fire Rod Rosenstein.
Sessions says in this letter that the Department “embraced” Donald Trump’s directive to be a strong law and order department, and then goes into the many accomplishments of the Department. It is an incredible defense of the work of the Justice Department. And it is all about the good work of the Department itself, not himself. If there is a bit of flattery, it is to Trump. It is the best justification of why Sessions should not have been fired.
Sessions wasn’t protecting the Mueller investigation from interference by Trump. After Jeff Session’s recused himself from the investigation, that job landed to Deputy AG Rob Rosenstein. Sessions recused himself because he was part of the Trump campaign and participated in a meeting at the Trump tower in June 2016 where a Russian agent was present. Sessions has testified over and over again, that he had never participated in any collusion with Russian agents, and nothing has every linked him to the scandal. So, I believe him. The recusal meant Bob Mueller had the liberty to investigate anyone associated with the Trump campaign, including Sessions.
Now, the Attorney General is Matt Whitaker and regarded generally as a Trump loyalist. He can do tremendous damage to the Mueller investigation, if he wants He can also recuse himself from the investigation and put Rosenstein back in charge. This would immediately take the pressure he’ll be getting from Congress, but Trump could always fire him and Rosenstein.
What happens to Rosenstein, the man that knows too much? Inside the Justice Department, he will no longer be overseeing the Mueller investigation. Inside the Department, he would be bound by the Department rules, including not revealing anything he knows. So, Trump may keep him there. I don’t see him writing the kind of letter, that Sessions gave the President.
The Russian investigation is the hot potato. Anyone touching it will inevitably draw the ire of Trump. The irony is Sessions never touched the Russian investigation. I don’t believe his recusal was ever the problem. It was his honesty that got between him and Trump.