The republican President Donald Trump has been long at odds with his Attorney General Jeff Sessions for Mr. Sessions having dared to recuse himself from anything having to do with the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe being led by the Special Counsel Robert Mueller III because of his heavy participation in the president’s campaign in 2016.
President Trump has continued to suffer under the illusion that his attorney general is there to protect him from criminal liability versus representing an independent judiciary system.
Here’s the rest of the story…
On August 23, 2018, Devlin Barrett, John Wagner and Seung Sin Kim of the Washington Post penned the following report, “Trump and Sessions feud over the direction of the Justice Department”
“President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions engaged in a public war of words Thursday (8/23/18)— more fallout over the Justice Department securing a guilty plea this week from Trump’s former lawyer and a guilty verdict against his former campaign chairman.”
“The spectacle of the chief executive feuding with the nation’s top law enforcement officer marked the latest argument in the long-soured relationship between the two.”
“Trump, speaking to Fox News Channel, said that Sessions “never took control of the Justice Department” and again faulted him for recusing himself from the ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. “What kind of man is this?” the president asked.”
“Sessions pushed back hours after Trump spoke, saying the Justice Department will not be “improperly influenced by political considerations.”
“I took control of the Department of Justice the day I was sworn in, which is why we have had unprecedented success at effectuating the President’s agenda — one that protects the safety and security and rights of the American people, reduces violent crime, enforces our immigration laws, promotes economic growth, and advances religious liberty,” Sessions said in a statement.”
“Trump also decried the practice of people caught committing crimes offering evidence against others (the flippers) for reduced prison sentences.”
“It’s called flipping, and it almost ought to be illegal,” the president said. “They just make up lies, I’ve seen it many times.”
“Trump said he respects Paul Manafort, his former campaign chairman, who went to trial rather than cooperate. Manafort was convicted Tuesday, the same day Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight charges, including that he violated campaign finance law at the direction of then-candidate Trump.”
“Cohen has not entered into a cooperation agreement with prosecutors, but his lawyer has signaled that he could provide evidence to prosecutors.”
“Trump also lambasted Sessions for running a department that he said is dominated by Democrats and unwilling to prosecute Democratic corruption.”
“The back-and-forth marked the latest chapter in a long-running drama surrounding Sessions’s job security, but on Thursday, for the first time, some of his support among Republicans appeared to weaken, as two leading GOP senators suggested that he could be replaced in the fall.”
“Sessions became attorney general in February 2017, and recused himself from the Russia inquiry less than a month later. Because Sessions is recused, the investigation, led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, is overseen by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein. If Sessions left the Justice Department and the Senate confirmed a new attorney general, that person probably would take control of the Russia inquiry.”
“Sessions, a Republican former senator from Alabama, was among the earliest and most high-profile supporters of Trump during a GOP primary campaign.”
“You know, the only reason I gave him the job is because I felt loyalty,” Trump said on Fox News. “He was an original supporter.”
“Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters that he thinks it’s “very likely” that Trump will replace Sessions but said it would be unwise for him to do so before the November midterm elections.”
“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,” Graham said. “Clearly, Attorney General Sessions doesn’t have the confidence of the president.”
“Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said Thursday that he could find time to hold hearings on a new nominee later this year after the Senate votes on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh.”
“That was a change in posture from a year ago, when Grassley made clear to the White House that he wouldn’t have time to hold hearings on a possible replacement for attorney general. Grassley said he was not advocating for a change at the Justice Department but simply responding to questions about timing.”
“I’m just very generically telling people that I’ve got time for hearings this fall,” he told The Washington Post.
“Asked whether he still has confidence in Sessions, Grassley said: “Let’s put it this way, he’s a good friend.”
“Those lawmakers’ statements were noteworthy because for more than a year, Senate Republicans have sought to shield Sessions as he absorbed blistering public and private criticism from the president.”
“At times, when Trump seemed most eager to remove the attorney general, Sessions’s well of support in Congress was an important factor in persuading the president not to do so, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss White House deliberations.”
“Part of the disenchantment stems from a growing rift between Grassley and Sessions over Grassley’s legislation to change criminal justice policy.”
“Sessions, whose views on law enforcement are shaped largely by 1980s-era mandatory-minimum sentences and harsh penalties for drug dealers, came out against the measure earlier this year, saying it “risks putting the very worst criminals back into our communities.”
“Grassley has been willing to work with Democrats on legislation that would reduce prison sentences for some nonviolent drug offenders. He was furious that Sessions opposed his bill, one of his biggest legislative priorities, complaining that he had worked hard to get Sessions confirmed as attorney general.”
“It’s Grassley’s bill, and when the attorney general said he wouldn’t support it, Grassley said that was disloyal,” said a person close to Sessions. “But this isn’t a quid pro quo thing, and the attorney general isn’t going to be blackmailed.”
Other Republicans made clear that they are still in Sessions’s corner.
Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.), the No. 2 Republican in the chamber, told reporters that it would be difficult to confirm another attorney general in the fall. He did not specify whether he was talking about before or after the midterm elections.
“We don’t have time, nor is there a likely candidate who could get confirmed, in my view, under these current circumstances,” Cornyn said. “I think it would be good for the attorney general and the president to try to work out their differences.”
“I know this is a difficult position for [Sessions] to be in, but I think it would be bad for the country, it would be bad for the president, it would be bad for the Department of Justice for him to be forced out under these circumstances. I hope he stays the course, and I hope cooler heads prevail,” Cornyn added.”
Link to entire report: Trump and Sessions feud over the direction of the Justice Department