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 SessionsThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage House gears up for Mueller testimony Trump's no racist — he's an equal opportunity offender 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 RosensteinKey numbers to know for Mueller's testimony 10 questions for Robert Mueller What to expect when Mueller testifies: Not much MORE and other top Justice Department officials were also on hand to salute the departing attorney general.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Trump attacks 'the Squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' 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 MuellerThis week: Mueller dominates chaotic week on Capitol Hill Top Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction MORE's probe, which Rosenstein had watched over since Sessions's recusal last year.