The move to replace Sessions with Matt Whitaker, who has been openly critical of the special counsel, comes as the White House prepares written answers to questions from special counsel Robert Mueller.
As acting attorney general, Whitaker also now takes over Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s role in overseeing the special counsel probe, which seems to be moving closer to a conclusion.
Mueller’s team has begun writing its final report, multiple sources told CNN.
Before that happens, one of the major questions in the Russia investigation remains to be answered: What happens to longtime Trump advisor Roger Stone.
As recently as a month ago, Mueller asked Trump’s lawyers to produce call and visitor logs related to Stone from Trump Tower in New York, which came as something of a surprise to lawyers involved, given that the Mueller team has been focused for months on Stone and his activities before the 2016 election.
Despite the change in leadership at the Justice Department, the Trump legal team believes it won’t affect its approach to the Mueller questions, according to one source familiar with the matter.
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