Sessions, 71, reportedly handed in a resignation letter to White House chief of staff John Kelly by midday, as per the president's request. So far that has been the job of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller.
Goodlatte's office was not immediately available for comment.
Sessions departs as the nation's top law enforcement officer while Special Counsel Robert Mueller, operating under the auspices of the Justice Department, pursues a wide-ranging Russian Federation investigation that already has yielded a series of criminal charges against several of Trump's associates and has dogged his presidency. Trump, who denies any collusion, has long complained about the probe, calling it a witch hunt.
During a brief stint a year ago as a conservative legal commentator on CNN, Whitaker often appeared as a Trump defender, saying he saw no evidence the president colluded with Russians during the 2016 campaign or obstructed justice.More news: Porsche shows off the new 911 undergoing testing
Republicans warned Trump past year against replacing Sessions, but some of that resistance appeared to break down by late August, when several key GOP senators signaled to Trump that he could find a new attorney general after the midterm elections.
Democrats poised to take charge of House committees come January are signaling that they want to investigate the replacing of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions with Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker. "Trump putting himself above the law is a threat to our democracy, and we've got to get Congress to stop him".
Protesters' demands include having Whitaker recuse himself from overseeing Mueller's investigation, and for Congress to protect the probe with legislation. It's not clear whether his connections to Sam Clovis, who if friends with Whitaker and has been questioned in the Mueller probe, and with the president would be enough to force his recusal. "And that attorney-general doesn't fire Bob Mueller, but he just reduces his budget to so low that his investigation grinds to nearly a halt", said Mr Whitaker in an interview with CNN previous year. The moment the Democrats clinched the required 23 seats to retake the lower chamber; they were readying the various probes into this presidency-and the left wing harassment of this administration is about to begin. He added, "Most importantly as my time as attorney-general, we have restored and upheld the rule of law", and thanked the president. The Trump administration is going to be investigated over Russian Federation, taxes, voter ID laws, any aspect of this White House the Left hates was going to be put under the microscope now that Democrats have retaken the House. At a news conference on Wednesday, the president threatened political warfare if Democrats exercise their new oversight power.
The 18 month-old probe is believed to be preparing fresh indictments against people involved in Trump's 2016 election campaign.