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

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike Democrats scramble to rescue minimum wage hike White House noncommittal on 'Plan B' push to add wage increase to relief bill 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 SessionsManchin flexes muscle in 50-50 Senate Udalls: Haaland criticism motivated 'by something other than her record' Ocasio-Cortez targets Manchin over Haaland confirmation 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) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened 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 TrumpBiden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged MORE's request. Trump announced on Twitter on Wednesday that Matthew Whitaker, Sessions's chief of staff, will serve as acting attorney general. 

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

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Comey argues Trump shouldn't be prosecuted after leaving Oval Office Trump turns his ire toward Cabinet members 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.