Sessions receives round of applause in DOJ exit

Sessions receives round of applause in DOJ exit
© Stefani Reynolds

Outgoing Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump poised to roll back transgender health protections Trump claims Mueller didn't speak to those 'closest' to him And the winner of the Robert Mueller Sweepstakes is — Vladimir Putin MORE received applause from members of the Justice Department while leaving the building on Wednesday evening.

Sessions was shown shaking hands with his chief of staff Matthew Whitaker, who is slated to replace him as acting attorney general, in his publicized exit.

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinHeavy lapses in judgment are politicizing the justice system Top Judiciary Republican reviews less-redacted Mueller report Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' MORE and other top Justice Department officials were also on hand to salute the departing attorney general.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers MORE earlier Wednesday ousted Sessions as his attorney general, after more than a year criticizing Sessions's decision to recuse himself in the federal Russia probe.

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Sessions agreed to resign at Trump’s request, according to a copy of his resignation letter obtained by The Hill.

“I came to work at the Department of Justice every day determined to do my duty and serve my country,” Sessions wrote. “I have done so to the best of my ability, working to support the fundamental legal processes that are the foundation of justice.”

Trump announced in a tweet that Whitaker would replace Sessions as acting attorney general until a permanent replacement is confirmed by the Senate.

The Justice Department later confirmed that Whitaker, a GOP loyalist who served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, would take over oversight of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's probe, which Rosenstein had watched over since Sessions's recusal last year.