Tag Archives: Jeff Sessions

Will the president heed the advice, or act … impulsively?

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein might have just wiggled his way into the proverbial doghouse occupied by his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Many of us out here are wondering whether the president of the United States, Donald Trump, is going to fire Rosenstein because he allegedly threatened to wear a “wire” to record conversations with Trump — and then recommend that the Cabinet invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump from his office.

Rosenstein has sort of denied The New York Times report that the deputy AG had said all that. However, his denial seems to fall short of a categorical, unequivocal denial.

Still, reports now are surfacing that Trump’s inner circle is telling him: Don’t fire Rosenstein!

Trump facing new dilemma

Indeed, such an impulsive act could turn out to be the Republicans’ worst nightmare, just as would a presidential dismissal of AG Jeff Sessions, who has gotten himself into trouble with Trump because of his decision to recuse himself from the investigation into the Russian attack on our electoral system.

I keep circling back to a question that I cannot yet answer: Has there ever been such an out-front discussion about whether a president was “fit” to serve in the office to which he was elected?

Weird, man. Simply weird.

‘Sad’ to watch POTUS trash the AG

Donald J. Trump continues to concoct reasons for why he believes Attorney General Jeff Sessions was a bad choice from the beginning.

He interviewed badly with the U.S. Senate; he couldn’t answer easy questions; he was “mixed up and confused.”

What absolute crap! The reason the president is miffed at the AG can be summed up in a single word: recusal.

Sessions recognized what Trump didn’t see coming: The AG’s role in Trump’s presidential campaign precluded him from being able to investigate matters involving the Russian government’s effort to influence the 2016 election outcome. He did what Justice Department policy and rules require: he recused himself from all things dealing with Russia.

And the president didn’t see that coming? He didn’t anticipate any kind of conflict of interest?

Because of his own ignorance of government ethics, Trump is now tell media outlets that he now doesn’t “have an attorney general.” He calls it “so sad.”

Go ahead, Mr. President. Fire the attorney general. Understand, though, that the AG — whether it’s Sessions or someone else — doesn’t work for the president. He works for the rest of us out here. He works also for those of us who didn’t support Trump’s effort to become president.

The attorney general shouldn’t do the president’s bidding because of some effort to protect the president’s political future.

If you’re looking for a “sad” circumstance regarding Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions, it is because the AG did something correct and proper and that action — all by itself — has aroused Donald Trump’s rage.

Darn that public domain, where words gain immortality

Donald John Trump blasted Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear,” saying — among many other things — that he has never used the word “retard” to describe a fellow human being.

Except … that he did.

Woodward’s book contains a passage that references the president calling Attorney General Jeff Sessions “mentally retarded” and a “dumb Southerner.” Trump said he’s never used that word. Never. Not one time, he said.

Oops! Someone dug this item out, from a 2004 appearance on Howard Stern’s radio show: “I know I was criticized in one magazine where the writer was retarded, he said: ‘Donald Trump put up $7 million, they put up $193 million and they are 50/50 partners. Why isn’t Donald Trump putting up more money?’ And you know it is supposed to be because I am smart.”

This is the kind of thing that keeps nipping at the president’s rear end. He makes blanket assertions that can be refuted immediately.

Such is the case, yet again, with the president’s “retarded” description of the attorney general. Yes, it seems to validate Woodward’s credibility as a journalist.

If only the president could ever learn to speak the truth. About anything. He won’t.

Loyalty to what … not to whom

We’re hearing a lot these days about the word “loyalty.”

As Donald Trump fumes and seethes over the publication of an anonymous op-ed in the New York Times, the president and his allies keep talking about the “disloyalty” exhibited in the essay from a “resistance movement” inside the White House that seeks to protect the nation from Trump’s more dangerous impulses.

I am aware of the oaths that all these individuals take when they assume their public service jobs. The loyalty they pledge isn’t to the man, but to the law, to the U.S. Constitution and there’s an implied loyalty to citizens of the country.

Trump’s insistence of personal loyalty is misplaced and is the result of a man with no experience in public service.

It’s been reportedly widely for more than a year that the president fired FBI Director James Comey when he couldn’t extract a personal loyalty pledge from Comey. Attorney General Jeff Sessions seems to have been held to the same standard when he took the job as AG; when he recused himself from probe into “the Russia thing,” the president took that as an act of personal disloyalty.

A president who worked exclusively in the private sector prior to becoming a national politician doesn’t understand the implications of the oath he and his lieutenants take.

Once more, with feeling: These men and women pledge loyalty to the nation, its laws and the Constitution — not to the man at the top of the executive branch chain of command.

Trump displays limitless amount of inappropriateness

Donald J. Trump amazes me, if you can believe that.

The president’s willingness to inject himself into ongoing legal investigations is utterly astonishing. He keeps firing off Twitter messages that seek to coerce, intimidate and bully federal investigators looking into government corruption.

And, oh yes, he continues to undermine the Department of Justice’s professional prosecutors as well as the attorney general, the man he appointed to lead the DOJ.

The Justice Department has charged U.S. Reps. Chris Collins and Duncan Hunter, two Republicans — one from New York, the other from California — on corruption allegations. Trump doesn’t like that, given that he, too, is a member of the GOP.

He tweeted this: Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff……

So, in effect, Trump is saying that Sessions and the Justice Department shouldn’t do their jobs. They shouldn’t proceed where the evidence takes them. They need to place the protection of the GOP majority in Congress ahead of the law on the eve of the midterm election coming up in November.

Good, ever-lovin’ grief, man!

I keep having to stipulate that although I am no fan of Sessions, he doesn’t deserve the constant harangue he is getting from the president. So damn what if Collins and Hunter were early and vocal supporters of Donald Trump? That doesn’t exempt them from law enforcement investigation when evidence surfaces that implicates them. DOJ gumshoes are doing the job they signed on to do.

I am sickened to the max at Trump’s continuing inappropriate use of Twitter to attack the Department of Justice, a key executive branch agency. Doesn’t the president realize that he is the chief executive of the federal government?

I have to ask, moreover, this question: If the president is so innocent of the questions being leveled against him, why does he keep acting like a guilty individual?

Such flipping and flopping on AG Sessions

“We need an attorney general that can work with the president, that can lead the Department of Justice. This relationship is beyond repair, I think.”

So said U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who in an earlier incarnation said something quite different about the president of the United States.

Graham said in the not-too-distant pass that there would be “hell to pay” in Congress if Donald Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

I actually agree with both things that Graham said. Yes, there will be “hell to pay.”

Also, the president must be able to work with the AG, but working with someone doesn’t necessarily require total, blind and unabiding fealty to whatever the top man wants.

Sessions has taken an oath to follow the law, just as the president has taken a similar oath. To my mind, Sessions followed the law when he recused himself from the Russia probe, given the obvious conflict of interest that would have existed had Sessions led an investigation into alleged collusion between Russians and the Trump presidential campaign. Sessions was a key player in the Trump campaign, so there was no way on Earth that Sessions could investigate himself.

Graham, himself a lawyer and an officer in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, knows that as well.

I don’t believe Sessions will be on the job by the end of the year. I also believe Donald Trump is foolish enough to fire him and open himself up to accusations of obstruction of justice.

Yes, there will be “hell to pay.”

That was some non-endorsement, Mr. POTUS

Donald J. Trump says Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s job is safe … for now.

He said the AG will remain on the job “at least” until the midterm election. After that? Hmm. No guarantee. All bets are off.

The president told Bloomberg News that Sessions should have told him he would recuse himself from the “Russia thing” before he was nominated to be the nation’s top law enforcement officer.

Trump then disparaged yet again the professionals who work in the trenches in the FBI and Justice Department. He said he wants Sessions to do a good job. He doesn’t seem to expect Sessions to deliver the kind of work Trump expects.

And what does he expect?

Fealty. Blind loyalty. No adherence to the rule of law. No sense of duty to the country over loyalty to the president.

Don’t misunderstand me on this point: I am no fan of the attorney general. He was denied a federal judgeship by the Senate in the late 1980s over some racially insensitive remarks attributed to him. He then joined the Senate and had a mediocre legislative career before Trump nominated him to run the Justice Department.

Just maybe the then-brand-new president could have foreseen trouble down he pike by declining to nominate Sessions as AG in the first place. Oh, no. He decided instead to blame the AG for prolonging an investigation into alleged hanky panky between his campaign and a hostile foreign power.

How did he do that? By doing the right thing and recusing himself!

Jeff Sessions’s time as head of the DOJ is diminishing … rapidly.

Trump: Mueller probe is ‘illegal’ … really, Mr. POTUS?

Who, I have to ask of the president of the United States, comprise the “great legal minds” who have concluded that special counsel Robert Mueller is conducting an “illegal” investigation into alleged Russian “collusion” with the 2016 Trump presidential campaign?

He calls Mueller’s investigation illegal because those great minds said the Justice Department shouldn’t have appointed a special counsel in the first place.

Please. Spare me the hideous assertion.

Mueller’s appointment in 2017 by Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein was hailed universally by lawmakers on both sides of the great — and widening — political divide. Trump even said he would cooperate fully with Mueller. Since then he has changed his tune dramatically.

He now calls Mueller’s probe a “witch hunt.” He detests Attorney General Jeff Sessions from recusing himself from the Russia investigation, given that Sessions was a key player in the campaign. He had to recuse himself. The AG had no choice.

As for Mueller, his investigation is above board. It is legal. It is appropriate.

Moreover, it needs to conclude under its own power.

Go ahead, Mr. POTUS, make our day

Here we go again. The president is raising the issue of possibly firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, maybe after the midterm election.

Donald Trump reportedly has made it known privately he is tired of the special counsel’s investigation into “the Russia thing,” and he blames Sessions for allowing it to continue.

Why? How? Because Sessions recused himself from the Justice Department’s probe into alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russian goons who attacked our electoral system in 2016.

Sessions was a key campaign adviser. He couldn’t possibly have investigated a campaign in which he was an integral part. Thus, he recused himself. The DOJ then appointed Robert Mueller to lead the probe.

A part of me actually wants Trump to fire Sessions. It is going to release a torrent of recrimination from Republicans as well as Democrats.

The midterm election? Oh, yes. Democrats appear set to take control of the House of Representatives. If Trump fires Sessions, he well might hand the new House majority an impeachable offense.

As if the conviction of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the guilty plea of former Trump lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen haven’t produced an arsenal of “smoking guns.”

Go ahead, Mr. President. Make our day.

Is the president going to slit his own (political) throat?

How can Donald J. Trump make things worse than they are already?

Here’s a scenario to ponder: He can fire U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions after the midterm elections, nominate a new person to lead the Justice Department, then he can fire special counsel Robert Mueller and hope the Senate confirms a new AG who’ll shut down the investigation that Mueller has been conducting for more than a year.

Can you say “impeachment”?

Read The Hill report here.

The president clearly has no trust in the current AG because of Sessions’s decision to recuse himself from anything to do with the Russia investigation. The special counsel is trying to determine whether there was any conspiracy by the Trump presidential campaign to collude with Russians seeking to influence the 2016 election outcome.

Does he fire the AG? Does he then nominate someone who’ll do the president’s bidding? Does the AG nominee pledge some sort of fealty to the president even if it means he doesn’t follow the law?

Trump, to no one’s surprise, has concocted a phony excuse for his displeasure with Sessions. “Never took control of the Justice Department,” Trump said on “Fox & Friends.”  “And it’s sort of a regrettable thing.”

What utter crap! Sessions’s “mistake” was to recuse himself from the Russia matter. Why? Because the AG couldn’t possibly lead an investigation into a presidential campaign in which he was a major player. So he did the only thing he could do under DOJ rules of conduct.

Is the president capable of turning a bad situation into something so very much worse? You’re damn straight he can.