Trump fires AG, warns of fight­back

The Witness - - NEWS -

WASH­ING­TON — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump forced out his at­tor­ney gen­eral on Wed­nes­day and threat­ened to fight back if Democrats use their new ma­jor­ity in the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives to launch in­ves­ti­ga­tions into his ad­min­is­tra­tion and fi­nances.

Trump came out swing­ing a day af­ter his Repub­li­cans lost con­trol of the House, and fol­lowed through on re­peated threats to re­move At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions.

Ses­sions, a 71-year-old for­mer U.S. sen­a­tor from Alabama, was an early and loyal sup­porter of Trump but drew his fury when he re­cused him­self from an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Rus­sian med­dling in the 2016 White House cam­paign.

His de­par­ture was the first in what could be a string of high-pro­file ex­its as Trump re­shapes his team to gird for his own 2020 re-elec­tion ef­fort.

Trump named Ses­sions’s chief of staff, Matthew Whi­taker, as act­ing at­tor­ney gen­eral and said he would nom­i­nate some­one for the job soon.

The move prompted sharp crit­i­cism from Democrats, who said Trump was seek­ing to un­der­mine the Rus­sia probe.

Nancy Pelosi, the House Demo­cratic leader who could be the next speaker, said in a state­ment that Ses­sions’s ouster was a “bla­tant at­tempt” to un­der­mine the Rus­sia probe. She urged Whi­taker, who now over­sees Spe­cial Coun­sel Robert Mueller and has ar­gued Mueller’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion has gone too far, to re­cuse him­self from any in­volve­ment.

Dur­ing a com­bat­ive news con­fer­ence in which he tan­gled with re­porters, Trump trum­peted his role in Repub­li­can gains in Tues­day’s midterm con­gres­sional elec­tions, and warned of a “war­like pos­ture” in Wash­ing­ton if Democrats in­ves­ti­gated him.

Democrats will now head House com­mit­tees that can probe the pres­i­dent’s tax re­turns, which he has re­fused to turn over since he was a can­di­date; pos­si­ble busi­ness con­flicts of in­ter­est; and any links be­tween his 2016 cam­paign and Rus­sia — a mat­ter be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by Mueller.

— Reuters.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.