The future of the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign was thrown into uncertainty Wednesday after President Donald Trump ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a move that will result in a change in the probe's supervision.
Trump named as acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker, Sessions chief of staff, who as a legal commentator last year wrote that special counsel Robert Mueller III appeared to be taking his investigation too far.
A Justice Department official said Wednesday that Whitaker would assume final decision-making authority over the special counsel probe instead of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Since last year, Rosenstein has overseen the investigation because Sessions, a key Trump surrogate in 2016, recused himself from dealing with matters involving the campaign. It wasn't immediately clear what role, if any, Rosenstein may play in the probe going forward.
As the ultimate supervisor of the investigation, Whitaker could sharply curtail Mueller's authority, cut his budget or order him to cease lines of inquiry.