On November 7, the day following the 2018 midterm elections, President Donald Trump requested Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign. This action follows months of tension between the Department of Justice and the White House that has been centered upon Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
The requested resignation of AG Sessions poses a threat to America’s institutional norms because the foundation for the request, as inferred through the President’s public comments, can be linked to the AG’s decision to recuse himself from the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, and to his refusal to sufficiently protect the President, his family and his interests from criminal investigation.
The mission of the Attorney General of the United States “is to supervise and direct the administration and operation of the Department of Justice.” As such, the AG is not empowered to work as a “fixer” to protect the president from criminal liabilities. AG Sessions’ commitment to the rule of law does not constitute grounds for forced resignation.
In the shadow of this action and in order to uphold America’s rule of law, it must be ensured that Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation is continued in accordance with proper legal processes.