Tag Archives: Jeff Sessions

Sad for Sessions’ political demise? Hardly, however …

I would be saddened by Jeff Sessions’ loss this week in the race for the U.S. Senate were it not for the fact that I detest virtually his entire political record.

Then again, there’s an element to Sessions’ defeat in the Republican primary in Alabama that does make me a bit, um, chagrined.

Sessions once served in the Senate. He was the first senator to endorse Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy. He is partly responsible for Trump’s election in 2016 to the presidency. Trump appointed him attorney general.

Then he did what Trump wanted him to do. He enforced the separation of children from their parents who tried to enter the nation illegally. He endorsed the president’s call to end protections for undocumented immigrants who came here as children. Indeed, this former senator’s record is replete with efforts to dial back civil rights reforms. He is a throwback to the stereotypical white Southern politician. Sessions was Trump’s guy at Justice.

Then the AG did the unthinkable in the Lawbreaker in Chief’s world: He followed the law by recusing himself from DOJ’s investigation into allegations that Russia attacked our electoral system. His recusal resulted in the hiring of Robert Mueller as special counsel.

Sessions then managed to incur the rage of the man who once hailed him as a legal champion. Donald Trump demanded the AG show him blind loyalty. Sessions said he can’t do that. The law required him to recuse himself, as he couldn’t investigate a campaign in which he was a key player.

Trump was having none of it. He sought to humiliate Sessions. He ranted and raged against him via Twitter. Trump has declared that hiring Sessions as AG was the biggest mistake he has made as president. He fired Sessions, who then ran for his former Senate seat. On Tuesday, Sessions lost the Republican Party runoff to former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, who Trump endorsed over Sessions.

It’s apparently over for Sessions. He won’t run for political office again. It’s not that I will miss this man’s contributions to public policy. However, I am chagrined that the single noble act he performed resulted in a form of political triumph for an imbecile — Donald Trump — who refuses to accept the reality that Jeff Sessions understood the boundaries he could not cross.

Did POTUS make an unintended admission?

Donald Trump now says the man he selected to be attorney general, Jeff Sessions, didn’t have the mental capacity to do the job.

That’s now the president’s description of Jeff Sessions, who had the bad taste — and the good sense — to recuse himself from an investigation examining whether the Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russians who attacked our electoral system in 2016.

Sessions did the right thing and for that he now is being vilified by the president who vowed to surround himself with the “best people” were he elected to office four years ago.

Has Trump now offered an implied admission that Sessions wasn’t among the “best people”? Did The Donald due sufficient due diligence in looking for an attorney general? If not, then why not? If he did, then why has Trump changed his mind about the quality of the guy he nominated to become the nation’s top law enforcement officer?

Trump offered the criticism of Sessions in an interview with Sheryl Attkisson. “He’s not mentally qualified to be Attorney General,” Trump said. “He was the biggest problem. I mean, look Jeff Sessions put people in place that were a disaster.”

Trump now wants Sessions to lose the upcoming GOP primary runoff in Alabama for the U.S. Senate seat. He has endorsed Tommy Tuberville, the former Auburn University football coach. The winner will face Sen. Doug Jones in the fall election.

I just am astonished as I read and hear Trump talk about men and women he selects to these key jobs, who then decide to do the right thing … and then become unqualified, unfit to the job to which they were selected.

Trump’s ad hominem attacks on these individuals tell me far more about him than they ever say about the men and women he denigrates.

Among the messages I get from these attacks is that Donald Trump doesn’t know what he is doing.

Trump bashes Sessions … who bashes right back!

I love watching this Twitter tango taking place between Donald John Trump and the former attorney general who Trump selected, Jeff Sessions.

I can’t believe I am saying this, but I actually am in Sessions’ corner as he fights back against the idiocy that comes from Trump.

Sessions is running in the Republican primary in Alabama for the U.S. Senate. Sessions was a senator from ‘Bama before Trump selected him to be AG.

Sessions was a big man in the Trump presidential campaign. He had connections with, um, Russians who then attacked our electoral system in 2016. Then came questions about whether the Trump team “colluded” with the Russians. There was no way Sessions could investigate his own role in connection with those allegations, so he backed away. The Justice Department appointed Robert Mueller to lead the probe … and that ticked Trump off royally.

Trump has been accusing Sessions of destroying people’s lives by recusing himself and allowing Mueller to conduct the probe. Sessions, though, responded that Trump should be “grateful” he followed the law.

Trump is having none of it.

Still, Sessions is on the right side of this dispute. He did what DOJ policy required of him. He followed the law!

Of course, following the law is a sign of betrayal according to Donald Trump, who has only a passing interest in doing the right thing.

Don’t misunderstand me on this point: Jeff Sessions is not my preferred pick to sit in the U.S. Senate; I didn’t support his selection as AG. However, he took the correct course in recusing himself from the Russia collusion investigation. For him to be pilloried by Donald Trump because he “followed the law” is reprehensible on its face.

Thus, I am glad to see Sessions fighting back.

Former AG faces intriguing political fight

Take away the upcoming presidential contest between Donald Trump and Joseph Biden and you are left with a boatload of intriguing down-ballot contests all across the nation.

The most interesting, intriguing, maddening and bizarre? It’s likely occurring in Alabama.

Two Republicans are running in a July 14 primary runoff to see who faces Democratic U.S. Sen. Doug Jones in the fall. One of the GOP candidates is former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville; the other is a former U.S. senator and attorney general, Jeff Sessions.

Donald Trump has endorsed Tuberville. He detests Sessions, the guy he picked for AG, who he then fired because — as Sessions has noted — the AG “followed the law.”

Sessions finally has begun firing back at Trump’s idiocy, declaring that Alabamans will determine who should represent them, not a president’s “personal feelings” about one of the candidates.

This is weird, man.

Sessions wants his former Senate seat back. He is running as a supporter of Trump’s agenda. Trump’s campaign has declared it doesn’t want Sessions to stand with Trump. POTUS stands with Tuberville, declaring that Sessions “let our country down.” Oh, how did he do that?

By recusing himself from the FBI investigation into whether the Trump campaign collude with Russian operatives who attacked our electoral system in 2016. How could Sessions have led a Justice Department probe into a campaign in which he was an active participant? He couldn’t! Which is why he recused himself and allowed the appointment of Robert Mueller III as the special counsel.

That recusal and Mueller’s appointment enraged Trump. As did the investigation that Mueller conducted. He ended it by saying he didn’t have enough evidence to prosecute Trump, but stated pointedly that his findings did not “exonerate” Trump from wrongdoing.

All of this seems to put Sessions in a tough spot as he campaigns in a state full of voters who still seems to adore the carnival barker/con man/liar/philanderer in chief.

Go figure.

Trump to Sessions: I don’t love you any longer

This is a political story I don’t recall ever seeing … until now.

Donald Trump’s presidential re-election campaign has told U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Sessions to cease saying that he’s a 100-percent Trump supporter as he campaigns for election to the Senate from Alabama.

You see, Sessions once served as attorney general in the Trump administration. Then he recused himself — properly, in my view — from any active role in the “Russia thing” involving allegations of collusion with Russians who were interfering in our 2016 presidential election. He enraged Trump, who fired him.

Sessions had served previously in the Senate. He was the first senator to endorse Trump. He and Trump were joined at the hip.

That was then. The seat he once occupied is now filled by Democratic Sen. Doug Jones. Sessions has been declaring how much of a Trump fan he remains. The president is having none of it. He wants Sessions to stop using the Trump name in his campaign ads.

Trump’s campaign says the president does not favor Sessions’ election to the Senate. He has backed Tommy Tuberville, a former college football coach at Auburn and Texas Tech.

I just want to note that none of the Sessions ads I have seen has said a word that declares that Trump wants the former AG back in the Senate, only that Sessions is with Trump all the way.

Hmm. I guess the grudge-bearing president wants to make a point that one would figure he wouldn’t need to make.

AG disputes IG … WTF?

William Barr continues to be a profound disappointment to me as the nation’s attorney general.

He took office after Donald J. Trump fired Jeff Sessions as AG. I had high hopes that Barr, who served as attorney general in President Bush 41’s administration, would bring his Washington experience to the job.

Well, he has turned out to be a toadie for Trump. Get this: The Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, reportedly has determined that the FBI did not spy on Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016, despite allegations leveled by the president that the FBI spied on him.

Barr’s response? He said he questions the IG’s findings. He continues to believe the specious allegation that Trump has leveled against the FBI, that it sought to launch its investigation into Russian interference in our electoral process after spying on the Trump campaign.

Horowitz’s office operates independently of the attorney general, which means that Barr cannot change the IG’s finding.

Still, the attorney general’s continued shilling for the president is disturbing to many of us, me included.

Horowitz is going to release his finding to the public in a few days. My hope would be for the attorney general to let the report stand on its own. That’s my hope. My fear is that the attorney general will seek to undermine it, quite likely at Donald Trump’s bidding.

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.