Manchin: We're 'on the verge' of a constitutional crisis due to Sessions's firing

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump takes heat for remarks on help from foreign governments The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump takes heat for remarks on help from foreign governments The Hill's Morning Report - Trump and House Democrats resume battle MORE (D-W.Va.) said Thursday that the U.S. is on the "verge" of a constitutional crisis because of the forced resignation of Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSarah Sanders to leave White House Sarah Sanders to leave White House Barr compares his return to DOJ to D-Day invasion MORE

"I think it’s a big mistake to let Sessions go," Manchin, who was the only Democratic senator to vote to confirm the former attorney general, said on "CBS This Morning."

Manchin pointed to the potential ramifications Sessions's ouster could have on special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE's investigation into Russia's election interference to back up his claim. 

His comments came just a day after Sessions formally resigned from his role at the Department of Justice at President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump defends Stephanopolous interview Trump defends Stephanopolous interview Buttigieg on offers of foreign intel: 'Just call the FBI' MORE's request. Trump announced on Twitter on Wednesday that Matthew Whitaker, Sessions's chief of staff, will serve as acting attorney general. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Whitaker, who has publicly criticized certain elements of the Mueller investigation, will now oversee it.

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinGOP group urges Republicans to speak out on obstruction claims against Trump in new ad GOP group urges Republicans to speak out on obstruction claims against Trump in new ad Judiciary Democrats announce series of hearings on Mueller report MORE had been overseeing the probe since Sessions recused himself in early 2017. 

Democratic lawmakers, including Manchin, have criticized Whitaker's oversight of the Mueller probe.

"What raises my concerns is a person that's been so vocal against the investigation that was going on is [put] in charge a day after the [midterm] election," Manchin told CBS. "I think that gives concern to every senator, Democrat and Republican. We are a country — the rule of law is everything.

"Looking like it's been tilted one way or the other is wrong."

Trump has repeatedly called the Russia investigation a "witch hunt," and on Wednesday said that he could fire everyone in Mueller's office if he wanted. He said he would not take that step for political reasons, however.