US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been fired by President Donald Trump.
“We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well!” Mr Trump tweeted on Wednesday.
The president had repeatedly criticised his top law enforcement official after he recused himself from the Russia investigation dogging the White House.
Mr Trump said Mr Sessions will be temporarily replaced by his chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, who has criticised the Russia inquiry.
“We are pleased to announce that Matthew G. Whitaker, Chief of Staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the Department of Justice, will become our new Acting Attorney General of the United States. He will serve our Country well….”
….We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well! A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.
“Dear Mr President, at your request I am submitting my resignation,” he wrote in an undated letter.
“Most importantly, in my time as attorney general, we have restored and upheld the rule of law,” Mr Sessions added, while thanking the Republican president.
According to a White House official, Mr Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly called Mr Sessions on Wednesday before Mr Trump held a press conference to discuss mid-term election results.
“Clearly, the president has something to hide,” Democratic party Senate leader Chuck Schumer said.
“Given his previous comments advocating defunding and imposing limitations on the Mueller investigation, Mr Whitaker should recuse himself from its oversight for the duration of his time as acting attorney general.”