Donald Trump has been keen on ridding himself of Attorney General Jeff Sessions for months on end.
Sessions’ decision to recuse himself is a source on continual consternation for the President and it’s pretty clear he views that decision as the source of his legal problems.
The involvement of Rosenstein is the direct result of Sessions’ recusal, which Trump blames for everything under the sun. In angry comments delivered just after news of the Cohen raid hit, Trump explicitly mentioned Sessions and since then, Jeff has been battling to keep his job and has endured withering criticism from Trump’s increasingly unhinged Twitter feed.
In May, Trump essentially told his 54 million Twitter followers that he wishes Jeff had never been born.
Earlier this month, Trump lashed out at Sessions in a series of shrill-sounding tweets. “This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further”, the President said on August 1.
Two weeks later, Trump said the following, quoting Gregg Jarrett (a political “analyst” for Fox News and the author of an absurd new book called “The Russia Hoax”):
‘They were all in on it, clear Hillary Clinton and FRAME Donald Trump for things he didn’t do’.
He went on to say this about Sessions:
If we had a real Attorney General, this Witch Hunt would never have been started!
What’s especially mind-boggling about those tweets is they came just days after the New York Times reported that Mueller may be using Trump’s social media activity to help build an obstruction case. Some of the tweets in question relate to Trump’s earlier attempts to pile pressure on Jeff Sessions. Recall this, from the Times, out late last month:
The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is scrutinizing tweets and negative statements from the president about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, according to three people briefed on the matter.
On Thursday, Trump took things even further, questioning Sessions’ integrity in a wide-ranging interview with Fox:
Following that interview, multiple Republican lawmakers suggested that Trump will likely replace Sessions sooner or later. Here’s what Lindsey Graham told reporters:
The president’s entitled to an attorney general he has faith in, somebody that’s qualified for the job, and I think there will come a time, sooner rather than later, where it will be time to have a new face and a fresh voice at the Department of Justice. Clearly, Attorney General Sessions doesn’t have the confidence of the president.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but Lindsey Graham is a walking contradiction when it comes to Donald Trump. Here’s what he said a year ago about the prospect of Trump firing Sessions:
What happened to 2017 Lindsey Graham? I guess he’s hanging out somewhere with 2015 Lindsey Graham, who had this to say about then-candidate Trump:
Anyway, Senator Chuck Grassley, the current Judiciary chairman, suggested on Thursday that he’d be willing to carve out some time to debate a new AG if that’s what the President wants. “I do have time for hearings on nominees that the president might send up here that I didn’t have last year,” Grassley said.
If you’re wondering what Jeff Sessions himself thinks about all of this, suffice to say he is not amused. Here’s his statement in full:
We’ll leave you with what we said on August 14:
One wonders how much more of this Sessions is prepared to take. Jeff’s reputation was never what one might call “sterling”, but his decision to bow to Trump and fire Andrew McCabe (who, by the way, oversaw a federal criminal investigation into Sessions last year) just days before his pension was set to vest, will go down as one of the more deplorable (pardon the pun) decisions in the history of the Justice Department.
And for what? What has Sessions received in return for putting up with this abuse on a weekly basis for a solid year now? Nothing. No loyalty from Trump. Just incessant public shaming.