Pres. Trump selects Former University of Iowa football player to assume role as acting U.S. Attorney General after Sessions resignation

US President Donald Trump, Photo Date: 10/19/2018 / Cropped Photo: Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0 / (MGN)
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is expected to oversee the special counsel's investigation into potential coordination between the president's Republican campaign and Russia now that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has resigned.

Asked Wednesday if Whitaker would take control of the probe, Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Flores said Whitaker would be "in charge of all matters under the purview of the Department of Justice."

President Donald Trump named Whitaker as acting attorney general after Sessions resigned Wednesday. Whitaker had served as Sessions' chief of staff. He is from Des Moines and attended the University of Iowa where he played football. He also ran for Iowa Senate unsuccessfully.

He once mused about a situation in which Trump could fire Sessions and then appoint an acting attorney general who could stifle the funding of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Trump's relationship with Sessions frayed just weeks into his tenure, when he stepped aside from the Russia investigation. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has overseen Mueller's work.