Leave Jeff Sessions Alone!
President Trump is lashing out at his attorney general once again.
“Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!” Trump tweeted Wednesday.
The president’s tweet encouraged several of his surrogates to demand for the removal of Jeff Sessions from office — for a variety of dumb reasons.
I couldn’t agree more. @USAGSessions must be part of the Bush/Romney/McCain Republican Establishment. He probably supported @realDonaldTrump early in campaign to hide who he really is. Or he could just be a coward. https://t.co/9D1ppRTSyp
— Jerry Falwell (@JerryFalwellJr) February 28, 2018
Apparently, Sessions has failed in his job mainly because Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin are not in jail. He’s also not doing anything to stop Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, a situation that is a result of Trump firing James Comey as FBI director.
So, the anti-Sessions crowd wants a new attorney general who will arrest Hillary’s entire 2016 staff and dismiss Mueller — both things which are never going to happen, no matter who is picked.
The Senate is never going to confirm a person who is committed to prosecuting Hillary and dismantling Mueller’s investigation. Democrats will universally oppose it, as will a lot of Republicans. You can think it’s right to pursue those two actions, but it is entirely unrealistic to expect the U.S. attorney general to do them at this moment in time.
The Trump administration does not have the political capital in a contentious election year to pursue such endeavors. The White House doesn’t even have the capital to get a good AG through, and it’s likely that Sessions’ successor would be some centrist swamp creature.
The same thing happened when Comey was fired. Trump supporters thought they would get a MAGA replacement who would pursue Hillary and end the Russia investigation. Instead, they got a special prosecutor to amplify the Russia investigation and Christopher Wray as FBI director, a person who has proven to be hardly different from the man he replaced. Wray even threatened to resign over Trump wanting allegedly biased FBI officials fired — all while definitely not pursuing Hillary and co. (RELATED: Has Trump Learned Anything From Firing James Comey?)
The forecast looks like we would have a repeat with Sessions’ replacement. The White House will face intense blowback from firing Sessions, particularly from Republican senators who have gone to bat for him, and will likely throw out the most moderate nominee who can gain confirmation. Think a Rod Rosentein rather than a Trey Gowdy.
And, unlike at the FBI, this replacement will probably be worse than Sessions. The current AG has taken a tough stand on illegal immigration and is threatening to subpoena sanctuary cities. He halted Obama-era DOJ directives that local law enforcement opposed. He put an end to the DOJ slush fund for left-wing groups. He has also opened up a review of the Uranium One deal, a potentially damaging scandal for Clinton.
Sessions has done everything realistically possible to push a Trumpist agenda at DOJ. It was an unwise move to recuse himself from the Russian investigation, but the main reason that Mueller came into the fold is because Trump fired Comey — something over which Sessions had no power.
Getting rid of the attorney general will not reverse that decision or make anything else better. It will only make things worse by taking out one of Trump’s most loyal supporters. Sessions endorsed Trump when the rest of the Republican Party denounced him as a cancer to conservatism. The then-senator took a major risk in backing Trump, and Trump should never discount that.
Sessions, who is one of the few high-ranking officials in the administration committed to the Trump campaign agenda, is the best attorney general Trump supporters can expect. His inability to do the impossible should not be cause for termination.
On the same day that Trump attacked Sessions, he also said he would like an assault weapons ban, mocked a Republican for being afraid of the NRA and shot down national concealed carry.
Maybe we shouldn’t trust the president’s judgment of Sessions on a day when he’s forgetting what he ran on.