Cartoon by Gary Varvel
What does Jeff Sessions's firing mean for Mueller and the Trump-Russia inquiry?
The Guardian: The firing of attorney general Jeff Sessions on Wednesday by Donald Trump prompted a rash of warnings that Trump’s real target was special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation of the Trump campaign’s Russia ties, which Trump had complained loudly about at a news conference just hours earlier.
The firing “fits a clear pattern of interference” by Trump in the Mueller inquiry, said congressman Jerry Nadler, the incoming chairman of the judiciary committee, in a statement. “There is no mistaking what this means, and what is at stake: this is a constitutionally perilous moment for our country and for the president.”
Adam Schiff, the incoming chairman of the House intelligence committee, tweeted that Trump “wants an attorney general to serve his interest, not the public”.
“Mueller’s investigation and the independence of the justice department must be protected,” Schiff said.
Shortly after Trump tweeted that Sessions was being replaced – which came about 12 hours after the Democrats won control of the House of Representatives in midterm elections – the attorney general released an undated letter informing Trump “at your request, I am submitting my resignation”.
A sense of alarm over the Sessions firing and what it could mean for the Mueller investigation was widespread in national security circles. The special counsel’s office is nested inside the justice department, which is headed by the attorney general.
“Not a drill,” tweeted Susan Hennessey, the editor of the Lawfare blog and a Brookings Institution fellow. “This is a frontal assault on the Mueller investigation. Trump sees a window and he’s taking it.”
Trump’s precise plan for Mueller was unclear from the immediate news of the Sessions firing, the latest in a long series of high-profile firings and resignations from the highest echelons of the Trump administration. While Trump’s loudest complaints about Sessions centered on the attorney general’s decision to recuse himself from oversight of the Russia inquiry, Trump has voiced displeasure with Sessions for many other reasons >>>