Tag Archives: Jeff Sessions

Sessions seeks to become Sen. Suck Up

Jeff Sessions’ announcement the other day that he intends to run for the U.S. Senate seat in Alabama was one of the most pathetic examples of senatorial slobbering I think I’ve ever seen.

Let’s review some history for a moment:

Sessions served for 20 years before joining the Trump administration as attorney general. He then recused himself from the Russia investigation because, he said, he couldn’t investigate his own role in alleged Russian collusion with the Trump campaign; he was a key player in the campaign.

Trump fired Sessions as AG. He then called nominating Sessions “the worst mistake” of his presidency. He skewered Sessions’ intelligence. He mocked his Southern accent. He humiliated the former AG simply for taking a principled stand against potential conflict of interest.

Now the former AG and former senator wants his old seat back. Did he extol his record as a lawmaker from Alabama? Did he tout his conservative principles? Did the Republican offer a clue as to what kind of senator he would be if voters returned him?

No. He called himself one of Trump’s biggest fans. He asked rhetorically whether he wrote a tell-all book, or did he show up “on CNN” to speak ill of Trump, or whether he has ever said a “cross” word about the president.

My goodness. What a craven example of slavish fealty to someone who, if the tables were turned, wouldn’t do anything of the sort.

Disgusting.

Sessions to run for U.S. Senate … what will Trump do?

Wow! A fabulous political melodrama might play out way down yonder in Alabama.

Jeff Sessions wants his old U.S. Senate seat back and plans to announce his candidacy for the Republican Party nomination. Oh, but get a load of this: He gave up his Senate after Donald Trump nominated him to be attorney general; the Senate confirmed him narrowly.

Then he pi**ed off the president royally by recusing himself from the Russia probe. He couldn’t in good conscience investigate himself, given that he worked on Trump’s presidential campaign, which found itself caught up in allegations that it colluded with Russians who attacked our electoral system in 2016. So he followed DOJ policy by recusing himself.

His act of conscience enraged Trump.

So, the previous 2020 Republican favorite for the Alabama seat happens to be a former state Supreme Court chief justice. Roy Moore had been kicked off his bench seat twice on allegations that he violated constitutional principles. Then he got ensnared in allegations that he dated underage girls and had sex with them. He ran the Senate from Alabama anyway. He got nominated in 2017 by the GOP. Trump had endorsed the incumbent appointed to succeed Sessions in the Senate, then backed Moore when the former judge won the party primary.

Then Moore lost to Democrat Doug Jones in the fall special election. Trump campaigned for Moore, but was unable to push Moore across the finish line to victory.

Here we are, in 2020. Jones is running for re-election. Moore is running in the GOP primary. Now, reportedly, so is Sessions.

What will Trump do? Does he back Moore again, even though his earlier endorsement proved futile; plus, we have the notion that Moore is unfit for elected office at any level, given the seemingly credible allegations of misbehavior?

Or does he back Sessions, who at least has prior U.S. Senate experience? I find the former senator/AG to be objectionable anyway, but he is a damn sight better for the job than Roy Moore. Remember, too, the many nasty things he said about Sessions when the then-AG backed out of the Russia investigation.

Meanwhile, we have Sen. Jones ready to cruise to his own party’s nomination. What might he do? How might he play all this out?

I am aware that only the good folks in Alabama will have a say in who they elect to the U.S. Senate. However, these men and women enact laws that affect all Americans. Therefore, what is Alabama’s business becomes our business, too, way over here in far-off Texas.

If I had a vote in Alabama, I would stick with the incumbent, Sen. Doug Jones.

Worst mistake? Hiring someone who follows the law? Wow!

That was an instructive interview that Donald J. Trump agreed to this past weekend … wouldn’t you say?

“Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd asked the president to reveal his major regret since taking office. Trump said it was a “personnel” matter, specifically his decision to appoint Jeff Sessions to be attorney general.

My jaw dropped.

Todd asked, “Why?” Trump said it was because Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation into alleged collusion with Russian operatives who attacked our electoral system.

Now, let’s ponder this for a moment.

Trump said his biggest mistake was hiring an AG who followed the law by recusing himself from a probe into an activity in which he — the AG — was involved. There was no way Sessions could investigate himself. So, he followed Justice Department policy by pulling away from the investigation, given that he was a key player in the campaign and in the transition to the presidency.

Sessions followed the law. Meanwhile, Trump appears to have no trouble with other Cabinet officials who were forced to resign because of ethical violations. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price quit because of travel violations; Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke resigned over similar accusations; same thing for Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt.

All that’s OK with Trump. Meanwhile, senior adviser Kellyanne Conway is accused of violating the Hatch Act by using her position as an executive branch official to launch partisan attacks against Trump opponents. That’s OK, too!

The president surrounds himself with scumbags and hangers-on and becomes enraged at a Cabinet officer who actually followed the law.

Good grief!

Jeff Sessions was a lousy choice to be AG for a lot of reasons. His decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, though, was not one of them. He merely revealed an understanding of the law and ethics that Donald Trump does not get. 

AG proving to be a major disappointment

Oh, how I wanted William Barr to be the right remedy for a Justice Department under siege from the president of the United States.

The attorney general took office after a contentious confirmation hearing. It is the AG’s second tour of duty at DOJ. He’s an experienced hand and reportedly a fine lawyer with a steel-trap legal mind.

He has been a disappointment to me. Yes, I am a fervent critic of the guy who nominated William Barr to lead the Justice Department. Donald Trump had savaged Barr’s predecessor as attorney general. Why? Because Jeff Sessions did the right thing by recusing himself from the Russia probe.

Barr stepped in and has — according to his critics — acted more like Trump’s lawyer than the nation’s top law enforcement official.

Now we hear from former FBI director James Comey, another damn good lawyer, who has weighed in with scorching criticism of Barr.

Comey said Barr is “echoing conspiracy theories” about the origins of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s exhaustive investigation into alleged collusion with the Russians. Barr, according to Comey, needs to present facts along with his assertions. “This is what Justice is about,” Comey said via Twitter.

Barr also has been critical of Mueller for declining to conclude whether Donald Trump obstructed justice. But … why? Mueller reiterated this week what he wrote in his lengthy report that he couldn’t indict Trump because of Justice Department policy that prohibits charging a president with a crime. So, he said his team couldn’t exonerate Trump, which to my way of thinking is the same thing as saying that the president committed a crime. That sounds as though Mueller drew a conclusion.

I truly wanted William Barr to step up, to steady the DOJ ship and guide the Justice Department into carrying its role as an impartial administrator of justice.

That doesn’t appear to be happening. Thus, the chaos continues in a federal agency that demands calm, firm and steady leadership.

Barr has become a big disappointment … dang it!

William Barr came into office as U.S. attorney general bringing a glimmer of hope — even among some of the nation’s most vigorous foes of Donald Trump, the man who nominated him to be the AG.

I was one of those who had hope that Barr would be a grownup, that he would conduct himself with professional impartiality, taking seriously the oath to which he swore to be our attorney general, not be an a**-coverer for the president of the United States.

The AG has let me down.

Hard, man!

His testimony this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee was an exercise in obfuscation and evasion. Then he did something even worse: He refused to appear before the House Judiciary Committee and answer questions from that panel’s team of legal eagles.

I don’t know what I was thinking, now that I look back on what happened prior to Barr’s nomination.

Trump fired Jeff Sessions as AG because Sessions refused to act as a Trump sycophant; that’s why he recused himself from the Russia investigation. He couldn’t under Justice Department rules take part in an investigation into an activity in which he was a principal player. Sessions served on Trump’s campaign team, then on his transition team, which the DOJ was probing with regard to allegations of collusion and other potential misdeeds.

So he walked away, handed the matter over to his No. 2 at DOJ, Rod Rosenstein, who then appointed Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel. All of that enraged Trump, as we have since learned.

Now he has installed his “boy” at DOJ, William Barr.

Barr’s record as attorney general near the end of President George H.W. Bush’s term suggested to me that he would be the right man for the country, not necessarily for the president.

Silly me. It turns out he is the right man for Trump and he is wrong for the country.

I wanted to feel good about Barr. Sadly, he has let me down.

Dammit, anyway!

No. 2 at DOJ calls it quits

Rod Rosenstein had me. Then he lost me.

He submitted his resignation today from the U.S. Justice Department. Rosenstein’s last day will be May 11.

The deputy U.S. attorney general made what many millions of Americans thought was a stellar choice in naming Robert Mueller the special counsel in determining whether Donald Trump’s campaign “colluded” with Russians during the 2016 presidential election.

Rosenstein was called into action after then-AG Jeff Sessions recused himself from anything having to do with Russia.

So, he answered the call. He acted wisely.

But then . . .

Most recently it was revealed that he fought for his job near the end of Mueller’s exhaustive probe and told Trump that he — the president — was not a target of the special counsel.

Huh? What’s up with that? Deputy attorneys general aren’t supposed to spill the beans about ongoing investigations. Are they?

He had me at first. Then he lost me at the end.

Still, I want to give him high marks for selecting Mueller to do a thorough job looking into these terrible questions regarding the president’s campaign and its alleged relationship with Russians who dug up dirt on Hillary Clinton and sought to pass it on to the Trump political team.

Rosenstein’s conduct near the end of his time at DOJ doesn’t negate completely the good he accomplished by picking Mueller.

However, it does give me pause.

I trust that congressional investigators will have plenty to ask him once he clears out his desk at Justice.

Wishing that AG Barr rises to occasion

You may choose to believe this . . . or you might choose to disbelieve it. I don’t care. I’ll offer this anyway.

I really want to believe that Attorney General William Barr takes seriously the oath to which he swore when he vowed to uphold the rule of law and to defend the U.S. Constitution.

My hope is being strained almost to the point of snapping.

The report from The New York Times from part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s legal team that Barr might have shaded the team’s work is most disturbing.

The Times reports that some of Mueller’s team have complained that Barr’s four-page summary of the 22-month investigation into whether Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russians doesn’t adequately express the team’s view of what it found. They are saying that Barr is soft-pedaling some of the more troubling aspects the conclusions drawn.

This does force me to join others in wondering whether Barr is more loyal to the president than he is to the law. The oath he took was not to pledge loyalty to Donald Trump. He put his hand on a Bible and swore in the name of God Almighty that he would be faithful to the law. Isn’t that what all our federal officials pledge?

My hope when the president nominated Barr to be AG after he fired Jeff Sessions only because Sessions did what was proper — which was to recuse himself from the Russia probe — was that Barr would emerge as a grownup, as a serious public servant.

I still want to believe that’s the case. He served as AG under a previous Republican president, George H.W. Bush. He is a known quantity. Barr possesses a first-rate legal mind.

Did he, though, “audition” for the AG’s job with that memo declaring that the president couldn’t be prosecuted for any crime because he is the president? 

I do not want to believe that.

The NY Times, though, has cast serious doubt on all of that with the report from members of Mueller’s team that the AG has, um, shaded their findings to protect the president.

Say it ain’t so, Bill. More than that, prove it ain’t so. Release the full report to the public.

Glad that deputy AG is staying put for now

I am glad to hear the news that Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is staying at his post for a while longer.

I’ve heard the term “heat shield” applied to Rosenstein’s presence near the top of the Justice Department chain of command. It’s an apt term.

Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller to the post of special counsel to look into allegations of collusion between the Donald Trump presidential campaign and Russian operatives who interfered with our election in 2016.

Then-AG Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia matter. Why? Because he worked on the Trump campaign and he knew he could not investigate himself. He followed DOJ rules and regs and infuriated Trump in the process. Trump then fired Sessions.

William Barr is the new attorney general. Mueller is finishing his investigation.

Rosenstein needs to stay on his watch to help ensure that Mueller is allowed to finish his task under his own power.

I trust AG Barr to allow Mueller to do his work. However, the special counsel — who has impeccable credentials — cannot have too many eyes keeping tabs to ensure it’s all done correctly, ethically and transparently.

How does the Christian ‘base’ like POTUS’s potty mouth?

I’m scratching my head — and not because it itches.

I am wondering something about Donald Trump’s two-hour tirade today at the Conservative Political Action Conference meeting.

He stood before the faithful and laid out a profanity-laced harangue against the media, Democrats, special counsel Robert Mueller, socialists.

The word “sh**” and certain variations of it were on full display today.

My wonderment? A big part of the president’s “base” includes the evangelical Christian movement. They like Trump’s judicial appointments; they support his statements about prayer in school; they adhere to his newly found pro-life stance on abortion. They don’t mind that he mocks individuals’ speech, such as what he did today in mimicking former AG Jeff Sessions’ Southern drawl.

They give him a pass on his serial philandering on all three of his wives. They say every person is entitled to God’s grace.

But wait. Do they really like a president who spews filthy language in public? Is that the tone and tenor of a Godly man?

Trump goes wild at CPAC

Please don’t remind me that other presidents have salted their language. Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all were known to utter profanity in private. Heck, “W” did so in my presence, to me, about five years before he was elected president.

But I don’t ever remember any of those men lacing their language with the profanity that flies out of Trump’s pie hole during public speeches, such as what he did today.

I don’t get it.

Is that how he “tells it like it is”?

POTUS disgraces himself — yet again! –with CPAC tirade

Mr. President, you keep outdoing yourself.

You stand before crowds of fervent supporters and fly off the rails. There you were again today in front of the Conservative Political Action Conference firing off an expletive-laden tirade against your foes.

You’re not sounding very “presidential,” Mr. President — and your performance today makes me wonder if I should even refer to you with that courtesy title. You haven’t earned it.

But I’ll do so out of respect for the office, even though I still cannot connect the words “President” and “Trump” consecutively.

How dare you mock the accent of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions! How dare you also refer to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff as “sh***y” Schiff.”

Get a grip, Mr. President

Mr. President, you don’t deserve the title you hold. I get that you were elected to it as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution. I so want to call you “my president.” Displays such as the one you put on today make it increasingly more difficult for me to bestow the respect to which your high office should entitle you.

You, sir, are a disgrace.