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Jeff Sessions: Staying on the job until Trump says otherwise

Jeff Sessions: Staying on the job until Trump says otherwise

“I serve at the pleasure of the president. I’ve understood that from the day I took the job.”

Jeff Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from all things Russia-related eventually led to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, with the intervening impetus of Trump firing FBI Director James Comey and Comey leaking memos to the press.

That recusal is the defining event so far of the Trump administration because the Special Counsel investigation seems to have developed into a search for a crime, rather than an investigation into a crime. I addressed this morass in There’s no good way out for Trump from Special Counsel quicksand:

When people look back upon the history of the Trump administration, I think Jeff Sessions recusing himself is going to be, at least as of this point in time, the single biggest influencer of how the administration went. Now obviously we still got time, other things could happen. But as of now, that has probably been the single most significant event of the administration because it put into motion this seemingly endless, wide-ranging attempt to find a crime by the Mueller team. And that, I think, is the defining moment in the administration.

So I understand Trump’s frustration, and I understand that it all goes back to the fact that if he hadn’t appointed Sessions, he had appointed somebody else, that he wouldn’t be in this situation now with this special counsel seemingly out of control ….”

Trump’s frustration with the Special Counsel investigation has boiled over into repeated Twitter attacks and negative comments about Sessions. There have been intimations that Sessions may be fired, giving rise to theories that Trump would fired Sessions, appoint a recess appointment or nominate a new AG, and somehow use these personnel maneuvers to fire Mueller.

There has been pretty aggressive pushback from Republicans in support of Sessions. There has been praise (which I think is deserved) for Sessions, and bewilderment as to why Trump would go after the one person who was most politically loyal to Trump early in the primaries, and who actually is doing an effective job implementing the Trump agenda.

Numerous Senators have issued warnings that if Sessions is fired, Trump should not expect either a recess appointment or confirmation of a new nominee.

There also has been speculation that Trump is trying to pressure Sessions to resign.

One staunch defender of Sessions, and critic of Trump’s attacks, is Tucker Carlson, who issued a stinging monologue the other day on this show:

So it’s no surprise that Sessions chose Tucker for an interview on the situation.

The big takeaway from the interview is that Sessions has no plans to resign, and still seems remarkably loyal to the Trump agenda. He did say the Trump attacks were “hurtful” but it didn’t really sway him. He also said he made the right decision on recusal.

Here are some transcript excerpts via Fox News reporting:

Speaking with “Tucker Carlson Tonight” in El Salvador, Sessions admitted Trump’s criticism has been “kind of hurtful,” but insisted he would continue in the job unless Trump fired him.

“I serve at the pleasure of the president,” Sessions said. “If he wants to make a change, he can certainly do so and I would be glad to yield in that circumstance, no doubt about it.”

Trump has repeatedly slammed Sessions in media interviews and on Twitter over the attorney general’s decision in March to recuse himself from the FBI’s investigation into Russian activities during last year’s election campaign.

“I understand [Trump’s] feelings about it, because this has been a big distraction for him,” Sessions told Tucker Carlson. “[But] I’m confident I made the right decision. The decision is consistent with the rule of law. An attorney general who doesn’t follow the law is not very effective in leading the Department of Justice.”

Sessions was in San Salvador Thursday as part of a two-day trip meant to bolster cooperation with the Central American nation in the fight against the MS-13 street gang, which the attorney general has described as a top security threat to the United States.

“I do believe that we are making tremendous progress,” said Sessions. “We had a 25 percent increase in prosecution of criminals with guns just this last quarter, the first real quarter that I’ve been in office … We’ve achieved, in many ways, more than I thought at this point in time.”

Sessions pointed out that despite the rift over his recusal, he and Trump share “a common interest” in cracking down on crime and illegal immigration.

“I believe that I understand [Trump’s] mission. I understand his goals,” the attorney general said. “That’s why I supported him for president. I share his beliefs that we’ve got to do more about crime, more about illegal immigration, more about gangs and violence and it’s an honor and a pleasure to be able to lead that effort.”

Sessions also told Carlson that the Justice Department would step up its investigation and prosecution of what he called “criminal leaks” after a series of reports detailing the progress of the Russia investigation and disclosing sensitive national security information.

“It cannot continue. Some people need to go to jail,” warned Sessions, who vowed, “If we can make cases, they are going to jail … The president has every right to ask the Department of Justice to be more aggressive in that, and we intend to.”

Jeff Sessions is a class act, and the best thing Trump currently has going for him in his administration.

A mistake on recusal may have been made, but I think it was a close call. Had Trump not fired Comey, there might not be a Special Counsel, so Sessions can’t be blamed alone for Trump’s predicament.

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Comments

Tucker means well, but he’s too emotionally invested in Sessions. AG Sessions is a grown man and he can take a “hurtful” jab from his boss. POTUS got Democrats and the press to rally to Sessions! Now when indictments come down the next few weeks from DOJ, what are the MSM going to do?

I think Sessions obviously has the confidence of the POTUS and they are both going to use this to double down. I mean, Sessions can turn some screws at DOJ and tell them, he’s under fire from POTUS and wants results. Heh.

“Goldman-Sachs did not elect Donald Trump…”

Eeeeewwww. That’ll leave a mark…

If Jeff Sessions does not want to aggressively drain the swamp, he could do 100 good things and still fail as AG. It is job #1

    That is IT. If you expect American people to live in a “law and order” country, then LAW BREAKERS in Washington DC need to be HELD TO ACCOUNT. If AG Sessions isn’t the fighter he needs to be to fry the BIG fish, another fightin’ AG will be needed.

    Ship up or ship out Mr. Sessions.

Let me take a shot at this in the form of a question:

Q: If you were Donald Trump, and you wanted your AG to have the full support of Congress, the Press, and every single human being on the face of the planet, how would you go about it?

A: Criticize him.

Roy in Nipomo | July 27, 2017 at 11:14 pm

“Had Trump not fired Comey, there might not be a Special Counsel, so Sessions can’t be blamed alone for Trump’s predicament.”

Had Trump not fired Comey, he would have had a weasel in charge of the FBI. I suppose he could have waited until there was a soundbite from, say, Senator Schumer saying uncomplimentary about Comey with respect to the past election and they issued a statement along the lines of, “I’ve decided to reach across the aisle and follow Senator Schumer’s advice and release Comey from his position,” but I doubt it would have made any difference.

Don’t care what Sessions once thought. What matters is the present. This is obvious to almost everyone that its a witch hunt, a game of gotcha designed solely to slow and hamper the exercise of powerof the duly elected President of the United States.

And what is Sessions doing? Nothing. Other than waste the time of the man who hired him on with this narcistic statement. Sessions Dude, you are failing the President and the American people. An honorable man would have resigned. The President does not want you.

Sessions is having the time of is life. I think he will be happy to deliver a whole lot of convictions out of all those prosecutions he has running.

As for Trump’s criticism that he took a weak position on Hillary’s emails, well, he sounds exactly like a client, to me. So many people have no clue what time frames and requirements they have to deal with, in order to get a good legal result.

Our legal system is not intended to provide entertainment to political neophytes.

Jeff Sessions is a class act, and the best thing Trump currently has going for him in his administration.

Very nice, but I didn’t vote for class. I voted for Sturm und Drang. An AG who’s careful to not tread on toes is useless. We need one who’s hot to not only step on toes, but to stomp them flat and bloody. (All legally, of course.) A target-rich environment like modern Washington should present plenty of easy pickings. Start with some easy ones, and save the big fish for later. Somebody should be able to get a lot done in four years; there’s no rush, but there’s little time to fritter away either. Due to an unlikely confluence of historical trends, the oligarchy’s customary nuthold on Washington has been disturbed. But the window of opportunity isn’t permanent; it can be frittered away if nobody gets a move on.

“Sessions having fun, Sessions having time of his life”

How unprofessional. We didn’t elect Trump so thaf the head id the FBI or CIA or NSA could have a good time. We’ve got a lot of work to do, people ard suffering and dying. And really, I wouldn’t be “having a great time” if my one accomplishment was shirking my responsibilities.

And wow GOP Congress. The only thing you are known for is running a witch hunt against your President.

I wouldnt get too comfy.

In this interview one is strongly reminded of what a decent wonderful person Jeff Sessions is really. His full on unreserved defense of President Trump and Trumpism was heartfelt and inspiring.

Sessions could solve this whole thing if he would insist that Mueller follow the same high ethical standards that Sessions followed. Under the rules Mueller has so many conflicts that he should resign. Sessions could require Mueller and/or Rosenstein to require Mueller to adhere to his high ethical standards. Sessions could require Rosenstein to reign in Mueller’s attempts to widen his investigation beyond the 2016 election.

That is all it would take to solve his recuse problem with the President.

Sessions us such a great person and loyal person I hope he and the President find a way to work all this out.

On a side note related to Sessions. Why is it that the GOP in Congress had no courage or strength to fight Obama, but plenty of energy and determination to oppose President Trump and threaten him and those of the GOP base that elected him.

It us clear the GOP morons in congress think that they will still get the votes of the GOP base once President Trump is out if office. They are in for a big surprise.

It would be quite interesting indeed if President Trump announced to his followers to stop contributing money to the RNC and NRCC etc and contribute to a new Trump PAC that will use the money to fund primary opponents against all the anti Trump GOPe in congress.

Exactly. I hear all this smooth talk of how Sessions is a man of virtus honor and integrity. But his actions dont match up. And I’ve seen this one before. It doesnt end well.

Sessions is doing something. He’s reinstituting federal civil forfeiture and enabling state and local police to profit from it while ignoring their own state’s laws banning it.

So if Trump fires Sessions, the GOP plan is to leave the office of Director of the FBI vacant. That’s interesting…

Senator Sasse, do you feel that this latest terrorist attack could have been prevented if there had been a Director of the FBI?

Senator Sass

“Had Trump not fired Comey, there might not be a Special Counsel, so Sessions can’t be blamed alone for Trump’s predicament.”

And if Trump had kept Comey on, the FBI would now be headed by a guy we know was a leaker and had his own, inscrutable agenda. Oh, and also the guy who went out of his way to let Hillary escape justice.

What could you expect by leaving such a man in power?

    Ragspierre in reply to Matt_SE. | July 29, 2017 at 8:53 am

    “Oh, and also the guy who went out of his way to let Hillary escape justice.”

    I agree with a lot of what you say, but Comey did no such thing.

    There was zero chance that Hellary would be prosecuted by Lynch.

    There is no impediment to her being prosecuted now, except for Der Donald.

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