Jeff Sessions submits resignation letter at President Trump's request

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a news conference discussing new criminal law enforcement action against China for economic espionage on November 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions has submitted his resignation letter at the request of President Donald Trump.

ABC News and The Associated Press reported the news shortly before 3 p.m. Wednesday, a day after midterm elections.

“In my time as attorney general, we have restored and upheld the rule of law—a glorious tradition that each of us has a responsibility to safeguard," Sessions wrote in part of his letter.

[RELATED: Jeff Sessions asked to resign: Read the letter he submitted to Trump]

President Trump thanked Sessions for his service and announced Matthew G. Whitaker will become the acting Attorney General until a permanent replacement is found.

In a statement to ABC, Whitaker said he is "committed to leading a fair [DOJ] with the highest ethical standards, that upholds the rule of law, and seeks justice for all Americans."

A DOJ spokeswoman told ABC News that Whitaker does not need to be sworn in and is therefore already the acting attorney general. Whitaker previously served as Chief of Staff to Sessions.

[RELATED: Who is Matthew Whitaker, the acting U.S. Attorney General?]

Trump has repeatedly criticized Sessions throughout his tenure, mainly in relation to the Robert Mueller investigation into Russia. Sessions recused himself from the investigation in March 2017.

ABC News was there as Sessions was met with applause when left the Department of Justice.

Information from ABC News and the Associated Press was used in this report.