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 SessionsRoy Moore sues Alabama over COVID-19 restrictions GOP set to release controversial Biden report Trump's policies on refugees are as simple as ABCs 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 John TrumpBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act MORE, according to special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout 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 PriebusLeaked audio shows Trump touted low Black voter turnout in 2016: report Meadows joins White House facing reelection challenges Trump names Mark Meadows as new 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 ClintonThe Memo: Trump furor stokes fears of unrest Bloomberg rolls out M ad buy to boost Biden in Florida Hillicon Valley: Productivity, fatigue, cybersecurity emerge as top concerns amid pandemic | Facebook critics launch alternative oversight board | Google to temporarily bar election ads after polls close 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 BarrFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Why a backdoor to encrypted data is detrimental to cybersecurity and data integrity FBI official who worked with Mueller raised doubts about Russia investigation 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 RosensteinDOJ kept investigators from completing probe of Trump ties to Russia: report Five takeaways from final Senate Intel Russia report FBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book MORE had not found sufficient evidence to prove obstruction of justice on the part of the president.