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Sessions receives round of applause in DOJ exit

Outgoing Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsElection fallout: What to watch for now The Hill’s Morning Report — Judgment Day: New data suggest big Dem gains in House, governors’ races Election Countdown: Trump frames midterm as referendum on presidency | Senate seats most likely to flip | Huge turnout raises Dem hopes | Controversy over Trump ad | Weather forecast has storm headed to key states | DOJ to monitor voting in 19 states MORE received applause from members of the Justice Department while leaving the building on Wednesday evening.

Sessions was shown shaking hands with his chief of staff Matthew Whitaker, who is slated to replace him as acting attorney general, in his publicized exit.

Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinElection fallout: What to watch for now The Hill’s Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Trump, Obama battle for the Senate The Hill’s Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Final stretch to the midterms amid backdrop of violence MORE and other top Justice Department officials were also on hand to salute the departing attorney general.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMidterms: The winners and losers GOP Rep. Mike Bost wins reelection in Illinois Sisolak becomes first Dem to win Nevada governor race since 1994 MORE earlier Wednesday ousted Sessions as his attorney general, after more than a year criticizing Sessions’s decision to recuse himself in the federal Russia probe.

Sessions agreed to resign at Trump’s request, according to a copy of his resignation letter obtained by The Hill.

“I came to work at the Department of Justice every day determined to do my duty and serve my country,” Sessions wrote. “I have done so to the best of my ability, working to support the fundamental legal processes that are the foundation of justice.”

Trump announced in a tweet that Whitaker would replace Sessions as acting attorney general until a permanent replacement is confirmed by the Senate.

The Justice Department later confirmed that Whitaker, a GOP loyalist who served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, would take over oversight of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE‘s probe, which Rosenstein had watched over since Sessions’s recusal last year.

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