President Trump reportedly wants to completely bypass the Senate confirmation process in his apparent goal to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
According to a Wednesday evening report from the Washington Post, Trump has been “musing” about the idea of appointing a new Attorney General by way of recess appointment. His closest advisors are warning him to not use recess appointment powers, saying the administration would face potential legal consequences for doing so.
The Post report comes on the heels of several days of Trump’s repeated Twitter attacks on Sessions, referring to him as “beleaguered” and “very weak.” Trump tweeted is frustration with AG Sessions for not prosecuting former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over her private email server (despite the FBI clearing her after a lengthy investigation approximately one year ago, and then again in November) and her alleged “Russia relations.”
So why aren't the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2017
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017
During an interview with the New York Times, President Trump told reporters Maggie Haberman, Michael Schmidt, and Peter Baker that he was still angry with Sessions for recusing himself from the FBI’s ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged communications with Russia during the 2016 election, saying the recusal was “very unfair” and that he would have hired someone else to head the Department of Justice had he known Sessions would remove himself from the investigation.
“If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I can’t, you know, I’m not going to take you,'” Trump said in the interview. “It’s extremely unfair, and that’s a mild word, to the president.”
Sessions, who was one of Trump’s earliest campaign surrogates, has said he has no plans to resign, paving the way for a testy battle with President Trump. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Alabama), who is running in a special election to fill Sessions’ old seat — currently filled by Senator Luther Strange — has said that he would quit his campaign if all other Republicans did the same in order to reinstate Jeff Sessions as U.S. Senator.
Even if Trump were to fire Sessions and replace him with a more friendly Attorney General, Special Counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller would continue his investigation, unless Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who initially appointed him, fires him. But as historian Tim Weiner told Slate, the investigation would continue regardless of whether Mueller remains special counsel or not.
“The FBI has a major counterintelligence case that is now more than a year old involving who, if any, American citizens acted in concert with the Kremlin to commit acts of espionage, obstruction of justice, interference with the federal election process and other crimes including conceivably, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and a whole litany of other federal crimes,” Weiner said. “[Firing Mueller] would be suicidal because the FBI will continue to do its work.”
As of this writing, Trump has not laid out an official plan for firing Jeff Sessions or recess-appointing his replacement.
“More fake news from the Amazon Washington Post,” read an official statement from the White House communications office, referring to Washington Post owner and Amazon founder/CEO Jeff Bezos.
Scott Alden covers national politics, education, and environmental issues for Grit Post. He is a proud Toledo University graduate, and lives in Inkster, Michigan.