THE FOLLOWING COMMENTARY IS SPECULATION ONLY.
Anyone who reads my blogs knows that I am not into conspiracy theories I don’t comment on them unless it is a matter of fact checking.
But I have a fellow blogger Crustyolemothman who is very worried about a lot of chatter that he has been hearing/ reading about how the republican President Donald Trump plans to fire the US Attorney General Jeff Sessions while Congress is in recess.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday (7/20/17) brushed off the public sharp criticism rendered by President Trump during his 7/19/17 interview with New York Times reporters. The president complained about Mr. Sessions decision to recuse himself from any participation in the Justice Department’s Russia investigation, saying he loved his job and planned to continue serving. So, the attorney general did not bite the president’s bait by tendering his resignation letter as the president had hoped.
The Attorney General Sessions recused himself in March 2017 from the Russia criminal investigation, after failing to disclose at his confirmation hearing that he had held meetings last year with Russia’s Ambassador Kislyak.
During the interview the president took swipes at the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Acting Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Andrew McCabe, before voicing his concerns about conflict of interest issues with the FBI’S Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and the FBI’S probe (as per Bloomberg news) possibly delving into the president and his family’s financial histories.
President Trump continued his rantings at his administration’s top law officers in the interview, by mentioning Mr. Rosenstein’s connection to Democratic Baltimore and that Mr. McCabe’s wife took money from a leading Democrat during a political campaign.
It has become obvious that the president wants to fire the FBI’s Special Counsel Mueller but there are rules barring him from taking this step. The Attorney General Sessions cannot do the honors because he recused himself from any involvement in the Trump-Russian inquiry. And the Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein has gone on record stating that he will not fire Mr. Mueller.
So, how can he possibly get away with firing his nemesis, the Special Counsel Robert Mueller?
Crustyolemothman answers this question in a comment’s section on one of my blogs:
“Hot off the dark side non press! The latest information that has leaked out of the administration is that the tRump will wait until the senate goes into recess to fire Session. He then allegedly, will appoint a person who he knows will do his bidding, using the provision that allows a recess appointment, who will follow his directives to fire Mueller! I hate to admit it, as like you, I don’t like conspiracy theories, but this one simply makes too much sense if one looks at tRumps history, and understand that S. Bannon is pushing for this to happen. The real fear for me is that while we will hear an uproar, the congress will make a little noise, yet fail to make any steps to correct the problems! Our nation is under siege by a foreign power and the people that have the power to correct the path of this nation are remiss in their responsibility and seem to be willing to sell this nation to the highest bidder!”
Now, the question that I have, Is the above described scenario, even possible? The answer is, YES!
IT SEEMS that if the president fires Attorney General Sessions, he can then appoint a replacement with someone who is willing to fire the FBI’s Special Counsel Robert Mueller III, while Congress representatives are away during its recess.
On January 28, 2017 Sam Wise as a guest blogger of Notice & Comment (A Blog from the Yale Journal on Regulation) posted the following opinion, “Recess Appointments Will Likely Return in 2017.”
“After a six-year hiatus, legally valid recess appointments will likely return in 2017. The Constitution gives “[t]he President [the] Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.” In effect, recess appointments give the President the power to bypass, at least temporarily, Senate confirmation of a nominee.”
“As someone who was in the room where it happened (the Constitution was written) explained, recess appointments were intended to fill necessary, vacant positions when the Senate was unreachable. However, recess appointments are now used primarily to avoid Senate opposition to a candidate. Both President Bush and President Obama successfully used recess appointments to avoid or defer confirmation battles where it appeared a nominee could not obtain a filibuster-proof majority.”
Recently, opposing party politics have greatly reduced the opportunities to use recess appointments. By practice, recess appointments now can only be used when both house of Congress and the Presidency are controlled by the same party. If the opposition party controls the Senate, they would deny the President a recess. When the Senate would normally take a recess, the Senate would instead have periodic “pro forma” sessions where a Senator would gavel the Senate open for the day and immediately end the legislative day. Even if the President’s party were to control the Senate, a House of Representatives controlled by the opposing party would use the Constitutional requirement that the Senate cannot adjourn for more than three days without the House of Representatives’ consent to prevent the Senate from going into recess. Thus, the Senate would still have to use pro forma sessions during its unofficial recess.”
“President Obama tried to claim that these pro forma sessions did not mean the Senate was in session, but he lost that argument 9-0. The Court also held that unless there are unusual circumstances, a Senate recess must last at least 10 days before the President may issue a recess appointment.”
“With full Republican control of both houses of Congress and the Presidency, the Senate will likely go on recess for the first time since 2010, and President Trump will have the opportunity to make recess appointments.’
“You might logically ask, with the elimination of the filibuster on (non-Supreme Court) nominees, why would the President still need to use a recess appointment? The President might need to use recess appointments because: 1) the Senate does not have enough time to consider a nominee and 2) Senate Republicans oppose a nominee.”
This means that when the Senate is in recess, the president can make appointments without the Senate’s approval. However, the appointee must be approved by the Senate by the end of the next session of Congress which is enough time for the president to do the dirty deed.
What Can Democrats Do to Prevent Recess Appointments? (Source:Reeves Law Group)
“The 2014 elections gave Republicans control of both houses of Congress.
The Democrats, who are currently the minority party in the Senate, can hold “pro forma” sessions during recesses lasting longer than three days. While no legislative business is conducted in a pro forma session, they ensure that Congress is not officially adjourned, thus blocking the president from making recess appointments.”