Who will replace Jeff Sessions?

Washington is swirling with speculation about who President Donald Trump will choose to replace Attorney Gen...

Posted: Nov 8, 2018 10:26 AM
Updated: Nov 8, 2018 10:26 AM

Washington is swirling with speculation about who President Donald Trump will choose to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions after the President ousted his first attorney general Wednesday afternoon.

GOP Senate control will likely smooth the path for Trump to replace Sessions with a preferred name, and CNN reported ahead of the midterm elections that several prominent conservative legal figures were in contention to follow an expected Sessions removal.

Continents and regions

Donald Trump

Eastern Europe

Europe

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government departments and authorities

Government organizations - US

Investigations

Jeff Sessions

Justice departments

Law and legal system

Political Figures - US

Political organizations

Politics

Robert Mueller

Rod Rosenstein

Russia

Russia meddling investigation

US Department of Justice

US federal departments and agencies

US federal government

US political parties

US Republican Party

White House

Lindsey Graham

Trey Gowdy

US Congress

US federal court system

US House of Representatives

US Senate

US Supreme Court

In the meantime, Trump said Sessions' chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, would be the acting attorney general, with a nominee to come "at a later date."

The following names have cropped up as potential Justice Department leaders: Whitaker, Solicitor General Noel Francisco, GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas, former Judge John Michael Luttig, Judge Edith Jones, former Judge Janice Rogers Brown, outgoing GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina and GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Matthew Whitaker

Named by Trump on Wednesday as the acting head of the Justice Department, Whitaker was previously Sessions' chief of staff. A CNN report in September, when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's fate was openly uncertain, said Justice Department officials had prepared for Whitaker to take over for Rosenstein as the Justice Department's number two.

Multiple sources told CNN that Whitaker spoke with Trump at the time about replacing Rosenstein and that Whitaker told people his understanding was that he could become the next deputy attorney general.

Whitaker is a former CNN legal commentator and former US attorney who directed the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a conservative ethics watchdog group. He ran in the Republican primary for Iowa Senate in 2014. In a CNN op-ed written last year, Whitaker argued that special counsel Robert Mueller was "dangerously close to crossing" a red line following reports that Mueller was looking into Trump's finances as part of his investigation.

Noel Francisco

At the same time Whitaker was considered as a replacement for Rosenstein, CNN reported that Justice Department officials had begun planning for Solicitor General Noel Francisco to step in as acting attorney general to oversee the special counsel probe.

As solicitor general, Francisco is already one of the top authorities within the Justice Department and has regularly defended the Trump administration before the Supreme Court. Francisco came to the administration from the law firm Jones Day, where he worked with recently departed White House counsel Don McGahn.

John Ratcliffe

Ratcliffe was among those floated as a replacement for Sessions ahead of the midterm elections. Ratcliffe is a former federal prosecutor, and he won re-election on Tuesday by an overwhelming margin.

His congressional biography touts his conservative bona fides and experience as a prosecutor, naming terror convictions in particular.

He is a member of the House Judiciary, Homeland Security and Ethics committees.

John Michael Luttig

Luttig is a former federal appellate judge and Justice Department official who left the government to work as general counsel at Boeing.

Before he left for Boeing during the George W. Bush administration, Luttig had been a finalist for vacancies on the Supreme Court, and he denied at the time that he was stepping down because of "the Supreme Court process." Luttig clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia, the conservative judicial icon who died in 2016.

A source close to Luttig said he had been considered for the role of FBI director after Trump fired James Comey.

Edith Jones

Judge Edith Jones sits on the 5th US Circuit of Court of Appeals, and CNN previously reported that she might be in play as a replacement for Sessions.

Jones, who like Luttig was once considered a potential Supreme Court nominee under Bush, courted controversy five years ago from civil rights groups after she was alleged to have said that she believes some ethnic groups are more prone to violence than others.

Janice Rogers Brown

Janice Rogers Brown has also emerged as a possible candidate.

Brown, a former California Supreme Court associate justice and former US circuit judge, retired from the bench in August 2017 and moved back to California. A source close to her indicated that she would not be interested in the attorney general job and did not want to return to Washington.

Trey Gowdy

A Republican source told CNN that Gowdy, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, was being floated as a potential replacement for Sessions.

The outgoing conservative representative and former prosecutor became widely known during the Obama administration as he pursued an extended investigation into a 2012 deadly attack on a US mission in Benghazi, Libya. But he also repeatedly came to the defense of the Justice Department under Sessions' tenure as attorney general as Trump railed against Sessions and the special counsel investigation. At the same time, he has pressed the department for access to information and clashed with current and former top officials.

Lindsey Graham

Graham has wavered as much or more than anyone in his public opinion of Trump. Graham lashed out against him repeatedly during Trump's presidential bid, but following Trump's win, Graham emerged as one of his top allies. Following an emotional rebuke of his Democratic colleagues during the Supreme Court confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, Graham's positive position among Trump's supporters has only ascended further.

But, as with Gowdy, he repeatedly defended Sessions from Trump and called for Mueller's independence. He has also publicly denied any interest in leaving the Senate for a position in Trump's Cabinet, and he responded to the news of Sessions' ouster by reaffirming his desire to remain in the Senate.

"As to me, I will be part of a larger Republican majority in the United States Senate -- working with the President and my Republican and Democratic colleagues -- to make America safer and more prosperous," Graham tweeted.

West Lafayette
Few Clouds
85° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 88°
Kokomo
Scattered Clouds
89° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 94°
Rensselaer
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 75°
Fowler
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 75°
Williamsport
Clear
92° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 98°
Crawfordsville
Scattered Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 93°
Frankfort
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 97°
Delphi
Clear
91° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 94°
Monticello
Clear
91° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 94°
Logansport
Clear
91° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 97°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48524

Reported Deaths: 2698
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11682684
Lake5180242
Elkhart330146
Allen2798132
St. Joseph196466
Cass16389
Hamilton1563101
Hendricks1410100
Johnson1288118
Porter73237
Tippecanoe7268
Madison65964
Clark65544
Bartholomew58644
LaPorte58026
Howard57757
Kosciusko5494
Vanderburgh5486
Marshall4904
Noble48228
Jackson4723
LaGrange4709
Hancock45035
Boone44543
Delaware44550
Shelby42625
Floyd38144
Morgan32931
Monroe30028
Grant29526
Montgomery29420
Clinton2892
Henry27415
Dubois2736
White26510
Decatur25032
Lawrence24625
Dearborn23823
Vigo2358
Harrison21822
Warrick21829
Unassigned193193
Greene18932
Miami1832
Jennings17611
Putnam1698
DeKalb1624
Scott1627
Daviess14317
Wayne1406
Orange13623
Perry1299
Steuben1292
Franklin1248
Jasper1212
Ripley1177
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette997
Newton9810
Starke933
Whitley925
Gibson812
Huntington812
Randolph794
Wells731
Fulton721
Jefferson722
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox640
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Owen491
Benton480
Sullivan451
Posey420
Brown391
Spencer381
Blackford372
Crawford320
Fountain322
Tipton321
Switzerland270
Parke230
Martin220
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events