Serious question. President Trump clearly has it out for Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Since the early days of the administration when Sessions recused himself from the Russian investigation, the President has bashed him repeatedly and harshly. Is it deserved?
Has Sessions done a poor job at the Justice Department? To me, the answer is “no.” He hasn’t done anything to truly differentiate himself as world class law enforcement leader, but pretty much all of the bad things we’ve been hearing about for a year and a half center around his disloyalty to the President, not poor job performance.
Senators Lindsey Graham and Chuck Grassley have beef with the Attorney General as well, now. Their problem is his lack of support for their criminal justice reform efforts, a move that seems to be alienating the former Senator and dismantling the hedge that was built around him to protect his job.
The president, who has spent a year and a half fulminating against his attorney general in public, finally got traction on Capitol Hill thanks to the growing frustration of a handful of GOP senators with their former colleague – most importantly, Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, who have been irritated by Sessions’ opposition to a criminal justice reform bill they support.
Now, it seems the only things protecting Sessions are a few powerful GOP Senators, most notably Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the political repercussions of firing him before the midterm elections.
Prospects are looking grim for Sessions, but he could have seen it coming. He knew President Trump very well, having traveled and campaigned with him during the 2016 presidential campaign. He knew going in how loyalty was the top consideration for Trump. He also knew there was a good chance that as Attorney General his department would almost certainly be plunged into investigations of his boss.
Did he think betraying his long-time friend, Ted Cruz, was going to work out well for his career? Did he really think delivering Alabama to candidate Trump was going to be enough to keep him out of the President’s cross hairs?
I lost respect for Sessions when he fell for the sales pitch that Mexico was going to pay for the wall. As a Cruz supporter, it was the harshest betrayal at a stage in the nomination process when Trump was still vulnerable. Perhaps more than anyone else, Sessions forced the GOP to accept Trump as their nominee.
Whether he deserves it or not based on job performance is irrelevant to me.
It’s with a not-so-subtle feeling of justice that I can’t wait to see Sessions’ career become the victim of his own miscalculations.