Jeff Sessions’ Resignation: “Not Unexpected”

Jeff Sessions has resigned as U.S. Attorney General, at the request of Donald Trump, effective November 7, 2018. As head of the Justice Department, Sessions has been seen as an impediment to Trump’s attempts to end the Justice Department’s investigation of the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia. Sessions took continual public criticism from Trump, and many have felt it was just a matter of time before Sessions would be gone – either by firing or by resignation.

Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, told Vox magazine, “This was not unexpected. Sessions tolerated more abuse from Trump than any Cabinet member should have to endure. Yet, he soldiered on out of a sense of duty.”

Trump’s Ongoing Scorn of Sessions

Trump’s ongoing public scorn of Jeff Sessions largely stems from Sessions’ recusing himself from the Trump-Russia investigation, due to his own associations with Moscow. It should be noted that several Former Justice Department officials praised Sessions at the time for doing so.

“I’m confident I made the right decision,” Sessions told Tucker Carlson of Fox News. “The decision is consistent with the rule of law. And an attorney general who doesn’t follow the law is not very effective in leading the Department of Justice.”

Trump, however, has publicly derided Jeff Sessions for his recusal from the probe. Trump has told Fox News. “I put in an attorney general who never took control of the Justice Department. Even my enemies say that ‘Jeff Sessions should have told you that he was going to recuse himself and then you wouldn’t have put him in.’”

Trump told the New York Times, “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job, and I would have picked somebody else.”

Trump’s Attempts to Force Sessions’ Resignation

Following Jeff Sessions’ recusal from the Trump-Russia probe, special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed to lead the investigation. Mueller’s appointment has led to multiple indictments of Trump cronies, and this has fueled Donald Trump’s ire at Jeff Sessions, too, for not preventing Mueller’s actions.

Trump’s apparent attempts in 2017 via Twitter taunts to force Jeff Sessions to resign are under investigation by Robert Mueller as a possible effort to obstruct the Russia investigation. If these allegations are found to be true, Trump could face criminal charges.

Removal of Barriers to Squelching the Trump-Russia Probe

Jeff Sessions’ resignation removes the barrier to eliminating Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is the only one with the power to fire Robert Mueller. If Rosenstein were removed, Trump could order his replacement to fire Mueller, thus possibly ending the Russia investigation.

Jeff Sessions was the first senator to endorse Trump during his run for the presidency. He may also be Donald Trump’s biggest and most consistent promoter of Trump’s agenda. Sessions’ forced resignation makes it apparent that, even greater than a desire for loyalty is Donald Trump’s desire to squelch the Trump-Russia probe.

Trey Gowdy: Sessions was a ‘dead man walking’ for months | Fox News [2018-11-07]

Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired | CNN [2018-11-07]

Ben Sasse Sasses Trump: “The U.S. is Not Some Banana Republic”

Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska is one of a growing number of lawmakers in Donald Trump’s own party who have criticized Trump’s attempts at suppressing justice. On Labor day, Sasse compared Trump’s governing style to that of a banana republic. In short, Two Republican Congressmen have been indicted by the Department of Justice for federal crimes, and what Donald Trump has shown he cares most about is losing the Republican seats in the November election. Ben Sasse’s response was to Trump’s tweet attacking the Department of Justice:

“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……” Tweeted Trump.

Republican congressman Chris Collins of New York was the first congressman to endorse Donald Trump in the 2016 election. He has been charged with securities fraud and insider trading. Collins maintains that the charges were politically motivated.

Duncan Hunter (R-CA), and his wife, Margaret Hunter, were charged with misuse of campaign funds and falsifying records to the Federal Election Commission in order to cover up the use of the funds. Hunter is accused of using $250,000 in campaign funds to pay for school tuition for his children, dental work for his family, international vacations for family members, and a number of other personal luxuries.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be pursuing the charges against both Collins and Hunter. This has added fuel to Donald Trump’s existing ire toward Sessions, with Trump criticizing Sessions for not taking into account the political ramifications of charging two Republican congressmen as the country approaches the November elections.

Ben Sasse responded to Trump’s criticism of the situation in this statement: “The United States is not some banana republic with a two-tiered system of justice – one for the majority party and one for the minority party.

“These two men have been charged with crimes because of evidence, not because of who the President was when the investigations began…Instead of commenting on ongoing investigations and prosecutions, the job of the President of the United States is to defend the Constitution and protect the impartial administration of justice.”

In Trump’s America, however, it is normal to play favorites; reward those who support your agenda, even if they’re accused of criminal acts; and undermine public faith in those who criticize or disagree with you. This is not unlike the dynamics of a banana republic, as Ben Sass has pointed out.

Trump slams Sessions over indictments of GOP lawmakers | CNN [2019-09-03]

Judge Jeanine: Jeff Sessions needs to do one of two things | Fox News [2018-09-01]