Mueller: For months, Sessions carried a resignation letter whenever he visited White House

Mueller: For months, Sessions carried a resignation letter whenever he visited White House
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Former 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 carried a resignation letter with him every time he visited the White House for months as he became more and more a target of criticism from President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE, according to 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.

Mueller said in his full report, released with redactions on Thursday morning, that Trump unsuccessfully sought to get Sessions to reverse his decision to recuse himself from overseeing the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.


In July 2017, Trump asked then-chief of staff Reince PriebusReinhold (Reince) Richard PriebusEx-Trump chief of staff Priebus mulling Wisconsin governor bid On The Trail: Little GOP interest in post-election introspection Author: Meadows is history's worst White House chief of staff MORE to secure Sessions's resignation, according to Mueller. Priebus said he told the president he would get the attorney general to resign, but did not intend to follow through.

Priebus said he called the president the same day and sought to explain that the Russia investigation would persist whether Sessions was there or not.

Trump relented on his request for Sessions's resignation, according to Priebus, but began criticizing him on Twitter, calling him "beleaguered," and "weak" toward potential wrongdoing by former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMedia circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Senate ref axes minimum wage, House votes today on relief bill Democratic strategists start women-run media consulting firm MORE.

Sessions's former chief of staff, Jody Hunt, told investigators that "in light of the President's frequent public attacks, Sessions prepared another resignation letter and for the rest of the year carried it with him in his pocket every time he went to the White House."

The details came as part of the special counsel's review of whether Trump obstructed justice in his efforts to curtail the investigation. Mueller ultimately decided to neither implicate nor exonerate Trump on obstruction of justice.

“[I]f we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment,” the report states.

Trump went on to ramp up his criticism of Sessions over the following year, focusing largely on the attorney general's decision to recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller probe. He regularly excoriated Sessions on Twitter and in on-the-record interviews.

The president fired Sessions after November's midterm elections. He ultimately nominated William BarrBill BarrMajority of Republicans say 2020 election was invalid: poll Biden administration withdraws from Connecticut transgender athlete case Justice Department renews investigation into George Floyd's death: report MORE to replace him.

Barr held a press conference on Thursday morning in which he announced Mueller had found "no collusion,” and that he and 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 not found sufficient evidence to prove obstruction of justice on the part of the president.