U.S. Marshals Service / C-Span
Less than 24 hours after the polls closed around the country, before results from Tuesday's elections were certified, Attorney General Jeff Sessions submitted his resignation.
"Dear Mr. President, At your request, I am submitting my resignation," Sessions' letter
to President Donald Trump said.
Sessions' chief of staff Matthew Whitaker will serve
as acting attorney general for the time being, with a permanent replacement to come later.
Rewind to last July
, before U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham unleashed a sputtering screed in defense of Judge Brett Kavanaugh as senators sought answers for sexual assault allegations against the future Supreme Court justice, when Graham said pretty plainly that if Sessions was somehow removed from the Justice Department, he'd have something to say about it.
Graham: "If Jeff Sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay."
The senator prefaced that statement by expressing his support for Sessions and went on to say, "any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency — unless Mueller did something wrong."
Trump has gone after the Justice Department and Sessions over the ongoing investigation into ties between the Trump election campaign and Russia by special counsel Robert Mueller. Sessions recused himself from oversight of the Russia inquiry, a detail some say may mean that Whitaker, as acting attorney general, could resume oversight of the investigation.
In recent weeks, Graham has taken his Donald Trump tribute tour across the country ahead of the midterm elections. Today, he declared victory, taking claim for "Kavanaugh's Revenge" after Democrats failed to win enough seats to have a majority in the Senate.
Today, Graham did not seem to indicate any "holy hell" was on the way, saying in a statement: "I look forward to working with President Trump to find a confirmable, worthy successor so that we can start a new chapter at the Department of Justice and deal with both the opportunities and challenges our nation faces."