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Organizers called on people around the United States to protest at 5 p.m. Though Sessions was an early and prominent campaign backer of Trump, his departure letter lacked effusive praise for the president and made clear the resignation came "at your request".

Trump announced via Twitter that Sessions' chief of staff Matthew Whitaker will be acting attorney general.

"I think it is a no-brainer", he said.

"I didn't speak to Matt Whitaker about it". Drivers and bus passengers faced some delays as protesters took to the streets. "He's the acting attorney general".

Sessions had been an avid supporter from the beginning of the Trump campaign, but ran afoul of the President when he recused himself from the probe on Russia's interference after it was revealed that Sessions had had two meetings with the former ambassador from Russia, Sergey Kislyak.

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani has said he opposes the idea of the interview, anxious that it would to lead to Mueller eventually accusing Trump of perjury.

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Sessions' dismissal sent alarm waves through Washington and the rest of the nation, since Whitaker has called for limitations to the Mueller investigation, as well as its defunding.

"(Trump) is pushing the line too far and it has to stop". "However, we do not believe increased Democratic oversight will prevent Whitaker or his successor from restricting Mueller's work". Before joining the Justice Department, Whitaker was openly critical of the Mueller investigation. He has also extended attacks to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, calling the Russian investigation a "witch hunt".

In a letter saying Trump's ouster of Sessions has put the country "in the throes of a constitutional crisis", House Judiciary Committee Democrats demanded emergency hearings on the change of command at the Justice Department and called for bipartisan legislation to protect Mueller from any effort to stymie his investigation.

The White House is bracing for the probe of Donald Trump's presidential campaign to fire up again.

"People want to see the rule of law preserved and they [local protestors] want to emphasize that nobody is above that, not the president, not anybody", Forsythe said. The groups were prepared to quickly organize a rally in the event that Mueller's investigation seemed at risk. And he was critical of Sessions' recusal from the Russian Federation probe, which put Rosenstein in charge of it. Trump said Sessions' recusal was "extremely unfair" and he wouldn't have given Sessions the job if he had known Sessions would recuse himself.

Whitaker himself meanwhile offered little clue about his intentions in a bland statement to reporters thanking Trump for his appointment, praising his former boss as a "dedicated public servant" and adding he would work to leading a department that conformed to the "highest ethical standards".