Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) just sent a stern message to President Donald Trump from his Twitter account: You’re on your own if you fire Jeff Sessions.
As talk of Trump possibly firing his Attorney General and replacing him with someone who will put a wet blanket on the Russia investigation continues, the process of how Trump would go about doing such a thing legally has come into question. However, Sen. Grassley, who heads the Senate Judiciary Committee, just removed the one legal option Trump has for appointing a new Attorney General in a fiery tweet.
“Everybody in D.C. Shld b[sic] warned that the agenda for the judiciary Comm[sic] is set for rest of 2017,” Grassley tweeted on Wednesday night. “Judges first subcabinet 2nd / AG no way.”
Everybody in D.C. Shld b warned that the agenda for the judiciary Comm is set for rest of 2017. Judges first subcabinet 2nd / AG no way
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) July 27, 2017
As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Grassley has the power to decide what hearings his committee will hold and when those hearings will be set. If Grassley stands by his tweet, that means President Trump will be unable to fire Sessions and have his potential replacement go through the Senate’s confirmation process.
Sessions was confirmed as Attorney General only after undergoing questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee, followed by a full vote by the U.S. Senate. But without the possibility of an initial committee hearing, Trump’s only recourse would be to recess appoint a new Attorney General.
A Washington Post report published Wednesday night suggests that Trump is now seriously considering using his presidential powers to appoint a new Attorney General without the approval of the Senate, which would be unprecedented for the AG position. However, Trump’s legal counsel is cautioning him against doing so, as there could be potential legal ramifications.
President Trump recently confided to the New York Times that he was still angry with AG Sessions for recusing himself from the ongoing Russia investigation, saying that he wouldn’t have hired him for the job had he known Sessions — Trump’s first endorsement from a sitting U.S. Senator — was going to remove himself from the investigation.
Earlier this week, Sessions told White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus that he has no plans to resign from the AG post, despite Trump’s attacks.
Jordan Shaw is a New Jersey-based writer and commentator specializing in national and state government issues for Grit Post. When he’s not writing, you can find him volunteering in Camden, New Jersey, or hiking the Wissahickon Valley Park.