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Summary

  1. US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced he is resigning from his role as the top law official
  2. It follows months of criticism from President Trump over the Department of Justice's handling of the Russia inquiry
  3. The announcement came a day after mid-term elections, in which Democrats took control of the House of Representatives
  4. But Republicans have retained control of the Senate, with key victories in Indiana, Texas and North Dakota
  5. Trump announced that Matthew Whitaker, chief of staff at the Department of Justice, will be the new acting attorney general

Live Reporting

By Ritu Prasad and Max Matza

All times stated are UK

  1. Our live coverage draws to a close

    U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions

    Our main story will keep you up to speed on the aftermath of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' firing.

    As things stand, there's a whole slew of questions about the fate of Robert Mueller's Russia inquiry now that Trump's pick for acting attorney general appears to favour an end to the investigation.

    With Democrats soon to be in control of the House, they'll have the ability to launch investigations and consider impeachment. However, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi - who could become the next House Majority Speaker - and President Trump have vowed to work together.

    But will the drama around America's top law enforcement official coupled with the new makeup of Congress lead to more compromise or commotion?

  2. Deputy attorney general leaves White House

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein - who is in charge of the Mueller investigation at the moment - has left the White House after what US media say was a previously scheduled appointment.

    Rosenstein leaving white house
  3. Wisconsin Republican governor concedes defeat

    Meanwhile, two-term Republican incumbent governor Scott Walker has conceded defeat to Democrat challenger Tony Evers, after a tight race in Wisconsin.

    View more on twitter
  4. Trump's attacks on media 'gone too far'

    Remember Trump's combative news conference with US media this afternoon?

    CNN has responded to the president's feisty exchange with one of its journalists.

    View more on twitter
  5. Warren: 'One step closer to crisis'

    Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has been involved in a feud of her own with the president over Native American heritage, said America is "one step closer to a constitutional crisis".

    View more on twitter
  6. National Sheriffs 'sad' to see Sessions go

    The National Sheriff's Association has said they are sad to see Sessions go as "he has been the stalwart for law enforcement they have craved for the past decade".

    View more on twitter
  7. Whitaker's official bio posted

    From the Department of Justice:

    "He was appointed as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa on June 15, 2004 by President George W. Bush. While U.S. Attorney, he served on the Controlled Substances and Asset Forfeiture Subcommittee of the Attorney General's Advisory Committee and was a member of both the White Collar Crime Subcommittee and the Violent and Organized Crime Subcommittee.

    Whitaker ran in the 2014 primary election for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in Iowa. Previously, Whitaker was a managing partner of Des Moines based law firm, Whitaker Hagenow & Gustoff LLP. He was also the Executive Director for FACT, The Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust, between 2014 and 2017.

    Whitaker is a member of the University of Iowa Political Science Department Advisory Board and the National Association of Former United States Attorneys.

    Whitaker graduated with a Master of Business Administration, Juris Doctor, and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Iowa. While at Iowa, Whitaker played tight end for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes football team, appearing in Iowa's most recent Rose Bowl game in 1991."

  8. Republican senator 'disappointed'

    Senator Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, said he's "disappointed" Sessions will no longer serve as attorney general.

    "While I’m disappointed he will no longer serve in this role, I want to thank him for his faithful service to our country."

    View more on twitter
  9. Ex-US attorney: 'Danger time'

    US Attorney Preet Bharara, who was fired by Trump last year after refusing to resign, shared a simple message on Twitter.

    The Manhattan prosecutor was one of 46 US attorneys (mostly all Obama-appointees) let go by the Trump administration last year.

    View more on twitter
  10. Trump's message

    Aleem Maqbool

    BBC North America correspondent

    He may be claiming a "big victory" in these mid-term elections, but it's clear Donald Trump recognises he's in for - if nothing else - lots of irritation over the next two years.

    Through winning control of the House of Representatives, Democrats will have much more power to scrutinise the actions of the White House… and things like the president's tax affairs or even alleged sexual misconduct by him.

    Having said that, an increase in the majority of his party in the Senate - he believes because he supported most of the Senators who won - means President Trump will continue to have his own way in cabinet and judicial appointments.

    Speaking of which…he'll very soon be asking the Senate to confirm a new attorney general.

    In his first major act after the election, Donald Trump fired his last one - Jeff Sessions.

    Trump and Sessions

    He was incensed that Mr Sessions stepped aside - to avoid conflict of interest - from overseeing the investigation into Russia's alleged involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

    Mr Trump's message to election candidates and political appointees alike today is that if they do his bidding, he'll stand by them and they'd survive.

    But if they didn't - they'd be out in the cold.

  11. Democrats: 'Blatant attempt to undermine' probe

    Top Democrat Nancy Pelosi says it's "impossible" to see Sessions' firing as anything but a "blatant attempt by Donald Trump to undermine and end" the Mueller probe.

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    Adam Schiff, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted: "We will protect the rule of law."

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    Democratic Congressman Steny Hoyer also called for the Mueller probe to be protected.

    View more on twitter
  12. Grassley praises Sessions

    US Senator Chuck Grassley, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, thanked Sessions for his friendship and service but offered no rebuke of Trump.

    View more on twitter
  13. Ending Mueller probe would be 'gross abuse of power'

    Democratic Senator Mark Warner, vice-chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has warned that the attorney general's firing should not be "an attempt to impede, obstruct, or end the Mueller investigation".

    “No one is above the law and any effort to interfere with the Special Counsel’s investigation would be a gross abuse of power by the President," he said in a statement.

    US Senator Mark Warner

    “Senators from both parties have repeatedly affirmed their support for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Every one of them should speak out now and deliver a clear message to the President that the Special Counsel’s investigation must continue without interference.”

  14. Reported Whitaker comments on CNN

    According to CNN transcripts, during an appearance on a programme 26 July 2017, Whitaker talked about how a replacement attorney general might cause an end to the Mueller investigation.

    View more on twitter