In the last days, President Donald Trump has excoriated his attorney general in public for having recused himself from the investigation of alleged Russian collusion with his campaign.
The way this was done — humiliating Jeff Sessions repeatedly in public — was less than classy and was not befitting of the president. However, President Trump’s criticism, if you can call it that, was not totally off base for the following reasons. Indeed, as I explain below, if the attorney general does not do his job, and learn how to take on the responsibility of his office, he should do the right thing and voluntarily resign.
Let me say at the outset that I like Jeff Sessions. He is a “southern gentleman,” but sometimes gentlemanliness is not enough when you are the nation’s chief law enforcement officer. When Sessions understandably recused himself from the Russian collusion investigation, he did not need to relinquish authority over it to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who he should never had made “number two” at the Department of Justice in the first place.
Not coincidentally, Rosenstein was President Obama’s appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, and this tells you in a nutshell who he is; namely someone who knows how to play both sides of the proverbial Washington, D.C., political establishment street. Thus, when Sessions gave Rosenstein authority over the Russian collusion investigation, that was akin to throwing his president to the wolves. Rosenstein then, after he himself was put on the leftist media and congressional hot seat over his memo recommending the firing of then FBI Director James Comey, panicked and, in an effort to save his own political establishment skin, dumped the investigation off to Robert Mueller, appointing him as Special Counsel. Mueller of course is another establishment figure who made his undeserved reputation as a “man of great integrity” toadying to politicians in both parties, much like Rosenstein himself. Birds of a feather they are!
In short, rather than having Rosenstein take charge, Sessions should have authorized his loyalists in the Department of Justice to carry on and investigate the Russian collusion allegations. By leaving the decision in the hands of a bi-partisan "two faced" Rosenstein, the attorney general sowed the seeds of disaster for his president.
Trump is also rightly upset about Sessions apparent refusal to have the Justice Department and the FBI, of which he as attorney general is in ultimate control, to reinitiate the flawed and compromised investigation of Hillary and Bill Clinton’s alleged criminality over not just the Clinton Foundation’s “questionable” actions, but also the former secretary of state’s misuse of classified national security information sent over her private email server.
Sessions has not even an arguable conflict of interest in this regard. Nor is the attorney general conflicted from have his underlings investigate the on-going illegal and constitutional mass surveillance of millions of Americans and the illegal leaks, if not wiretapping, concerning the president and his men and women. But, instead of doing his job, Sessions has thus far buried his head in the sand, apparently not wanting to upset the powerful political establishment on both sides of the aisle. The likely reason for this: Sessions himself is under scrutiny for allegedly lying to Congress over his own alleged Russian connections and he is thus trying to lay low and not offend Democrats and those in the Obama Deep State who could smear and harm him even more.
And then there is my own experience with Sessions. Having talked with Jeff early on about the need for the Department to review the Obama-Lynch political prosecution of my client Cliven Bundy, and his having agreed to do so, last week he not only extolled the courage the federal prosecutor, the acting U.S. Attorney in Nevada, Steven W. Mayre, who with his staff has set a new indoor world record for prosecutorial misconduct, but tried to play both sides of the street by then adding that of course “he is not taking sides.” Well, Jeff, you are the attorney general and the buck stops on your desk! Really! Not taking sides!
Sessions’ latest abdication of legal responsibility over simply conducting a review of the Bundy prosecution, which the attorney general has stalled doing for 5 months since he told me he would, is exemplary of why President Trump has about had it with him. And, while I would have acted differently than the president by not berating Jeff publicly, if I were Trump I would have told him to either grow some “cajones,” or take an exit stage left.
In short, either Sessions should now do his job as attorney general, or as the southern gentleman and patriot he is, simply resign.
Larry Klayman, founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, is known for his strong public interest advocacy in furtherance of ethics in government and individual freedoms and liberties. To read more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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