Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Can You Really Work Up Any Juices To Protest The Firing Of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions?


Mike Allen: "Sessions allies tell us he won’t quit, and will have to be fired: This is his life’s work and dream job. (Yesterday, he took on sanctuary cities.) And in Trumptown, you can be down now, but back in favor after you endure a little humiliation. Ask Steve Bannon."

Odd how right-wing Trumpbots are cheering their president on to fire Jeff Sessions, an icon of racism, xenophobia and... well... everything that is at the rotten core of Trumpism. At least just as odd: liberals are bemoaning the fact that Trump is moving towards firing Sessions, despite the fact that there isn't a liberal in America who believes Sessions is fit for the office. Trump has literally turned the world topsy-turvy. One thing that never does change though-- at least not so far-- is the Uriah Heap Speaker of the House's attitude. The Wisconsin enabler gave Trump the green light to go ahead and fire Sessions, even while other Republicans were trying to discourage him. Maybe Trump yelled at him for defending Bob Mueller in a radio interview on Monday, when he told listeners, “Remember, Bob Mueller is a Republican who was appointed by a Republican who served in a Republican administration and stayed on until his term ended. But I don’t think many people are saying Bob Mueller is a person who is a biased partisan. He’s really sort of anything but."

Ryan's such a slimy, confused guy with such an incoherent tattered brand these days. In some ways he must be looking foward to Randy Bryce putting him out of his misery in 2018.

Despite Ryan's jelly-fish posture, some establishment Republicans seethed and some even went public with their concerns about Trump's scheme to replace Sessions and hire someone to fire Mueller and end the Putin-Gate investigation. Mike Simpson (R-ID): "All hell would break loose."
"If he fired Mueller, that would be a problem. It wouldn't pass the smell test," added a second House Republican, who requested anonymity in order to speak candidly. "The American people would demand we do something."

...Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., who is chasing Trump's endorsement in the competitive Aug. 15, special Senate election primary, was compelled to take a veiled shot at the president for the humiliating way he has publicly pondered whether to fire Sessions.

"Jeff Sessions is my mentor, a great friend, and a man of the utmost integrity. His example of leadership inspired me to run for public office in Alabama, and continues to merit the admiration of his team at DOJ, his former colleagues in the Senate, and our great state," Strange, who was appointed to fill Sessions' seat on a temporary basis, said in a statement.

"Jeff and President Trump are trying to make America great again," he continued. "And it's a privilege to work along side both to accomplish the Trump agenda for the American people, and we need to stop letting the media distract us from that agenda."

...It's obvious Republicans have no appetite to rebuke the president, fearing a revolt of their own voters at home-- many who side with Trump on the Russia matter-- and anxious for the turbulence it would cause between now and midterm elections 15 months away. But they conceded in interviews that Mueller's dismissal would necessitate action of some sort, although they were unclear on what form it might take.

It could range from stronger verbal denunciations to more aggressive oversight hearings to passage of laws, like a bill that passed Tuesday, that limit Trump's ability to maneuver without congressional approval.

Impeachment proceedings are off the table unless the president commits a crime, GOP insiders said.

"There would have to be a smoking gun," a former Republican congressional aide said. "If he fires Mueller it would be a big deal and there would oversight hearings but it would be similar to Comey. I don't think it would near impeachment. I think there would have to be proof of collusion or breaking the law."

For conservatives, Sessions is an ideological touchstone in an unpredictable administration. He's an immigration hawk who adopted this position long before they were ascendant in the Republican Party, and he's viewed as insurance against Trump drifting left on border security and illegal immigration.

His circle of friends in Congress reaches beyond these circles, however. Many Republicans disagree with his positions on immigration and trade, but always appreciated his professionalism and honesty. In a chaotic White House, Sessions is a dependable ally.

Trump firing the attorney general could cause a breakdown in relations that area already rocky and highly transactional, Republican senators and congressional aides across Capitol Hill told the Washington Examiner in private conversations.

"Jeff's a good friend of mine. He stuck his neck out early for the president, which I have a lot of respect for, and I think that will pay off for him in the long run," Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., added.
In his NY Times column this morning, A Trump Tower of Absolute Folly, conservative pundit Ross Douthat asserted that "Trump’s campaign against his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, in which he is seemingly attempting to insult and humiliate and tweet-shame Sessions into resignation, is an insanely stupid exercise. It is a multitiered tower of political idiocy, a sublime monument to the moronic, a gaudy, gleaming, Ozymandian folly that leaves many of the president’s prior efforts in its shade... Trump’s war on Sessions is one of the few things short of a recession that could hurt him with his base-- which he needs to hold, since he isn’t doing anything to persuade anyone outside it... This president should not be the president, and the sooner he is not, the better."

Meanwhile a coalition of good government groups such as Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, Common Cause, Protect Democracy and Public Citizen sent a letter to McConnell and Schumer and the chair and ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein, urging them to delay confirming Christopher Wray as FBI director until Señor Trumpanzee publicly pledges not to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, which is at the heart of his reasons for moving against Sessions.

Nancy Ohanian's Bob Mueller

Dear Senators,

We write to request that the Senate postpone the confirmation of a new Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) until the White House takes concrete steps to insulate the Director and the law enforcement agency he will lead from improper political interference. Recent statements by President Trump indicate that he believes the FBI Director should be politically loyal to him, instead of serving the country and the rule of law. The President’s recent statements further indicate that he is aggressively seeking to undermine, if not eliminate, a specific Department of Justice law enforcement matter-- the Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in our elections. The President’s comments demeaning the Attorney General over his recusal in this matter, as well as his extraordinary reference to him as “beleaguered,” raise deep concerns that the President may be considering a series of personnel changes seeking to terminate the investigation. Under these circumstances, confirming the President’s hand-picked FBI Director-- regardless of that nominee’s individual merits-- would plunge a new Director into an unfair and untenable position, where the stated expectations of the President directly conflict with the Director’s independent law enforcement responsibilities. As such, the Senate should not proceed to confirm a new Director until the President has made specific commitments-- set forth below-- to respect the independence of the Department of Justice, including the FBI Director and the Special Counsel.

The Director of the FBI is an independent position, by its nature as a federal law enforcement leader, its statutory ten year term, and its protection from White House interference under historic policies governing White House communications with law enforcement on specific matters. For over forty years, to prevent even the appearance of political meddling in federal law enforcement, White House policies of Republican and Democratic administrations alike have either forbid, or, vastly minimized any White House contacts with federal law enforcement functions involving specific investigations or prosecutions. These policies, including the current White House policy, designate less than a handful of individuals at the Department of Justice-- excluding the FBI-- which may properly have contact with the White House about any specific investigation or enforcement matter.

Likewise, the decades-long policy of the Department of Justice (DOJ), including the currently operative version, also protects the integrity of particular investigation and enforcement matters by prohibiting communications with the White House about them, other than those involving the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General. Strict enforcement of these policies restricting White House interference with specific law enforcement matters is especially crucial where the investigation at hand may relate to the President, his family, his campaign, and his closest political advisors.

Currently, the White House has a contacts policy, but as it applies only to DOJ, it is vastly inadequate compared to policies of prior administrations, which applied across the federal government to address other law enforcement functions, as well as specific party matters in procurement, grant-making, and regulatory decisions, among others. Recently, internal White House documents, released through FOIA, disclosed that the White House Counsel’s office plans to issue a more complete and robust White House agency contacts policy, which would be in line with the precedent of prior Administrations, and in keeping with the White House’s commitment months ago. This is a critical moment for the White House to publicly commit to avoiding political interference with law enforcement and other independent government functions. The White House should, as it has promised, issue a thorough and comprehensive policy limiting inappropriate White House contacts about specific matters with officials across the Federal agencies.

Unfortunately, recent comments from the President and the White House, consistent with the White House’s prior actions, suggest that the President does seek the ability to interfere with and impede specific investigations. In particular, the President seems intent on thwarting the special counsel’s investigation regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election. The statements from the White House spokesperson on limiting the scope of the special counsel investigation, as well as news reports of the President’s staff working to investigate the Special Counsel staff in order to discredit them, and by extension, the investigation,6 plainly pose improper White House threats against independent law enforcement functions. In addition, just a few days ago, the President stated in an interview with the New York Times that the “F.B.I. person really reports directly to the president of the United States, which is interesting. You know, which is interesting. And I think we’re going to have a great new F.B.I. director.” Even after the outcry following testimony of the President’s demand for “loyalty” from prior FBI Director James Comey, it appears the President still expects political or personal loyalty to him from the next FBI Director. It also suggests that the President does not respect or abide by the contacts policy of his own White House, or of the Department of Justice.

Before moving to confirm a new Trump-selected FBI Director, the Senate should be assured that President Trump and his White House will respect the independence of the FBI’s law enforcement function from White House interference. In particular, the Senate should ensure the following conditions are met:
1) The White House publicly issues a complete and robust agency contacts policy, as it has said it will.
2)  President Trump commits that he and his White House will abide by the White House’s agency contacts policy.
3)  Consistent with the agency contacts policy and importance of protecting specific law enforcement matters from agency interference, the President commits not to fire or otherwise interfere with Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation.

To approve the nomination of any FBI Director without clarification from the President himself that he will not interfere with ongoing law enforcement matters, would be to thrust that nominee into an impossible position, undermining the head of the FBI before he steps in the door. As the nominee, Christopher Wray, has testified, receiving reassurance from the Department of Justice senior leadership that Special Counsel Mueller is continuing his investigation made Wray “comfortable that I would be able to do my job...” To confirm a Director, with widespread criminal and national security responsibilities, under such a cloud could have lasting harmful consequences for the FBI, the Justice Department, and the nation.

Through the confirmation process, Congress serves its role as a check on the executive pursuant to the constitution. Nothing is more important in upholding our constitutional system and rule of law than the President not be allowed to place himself above the law. In fulfilling Congress’s constitutional role, the Senate should demand these assurances before confirming a new FBI Director.

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At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fire Sessions and get Giuliani. Such a DEAL!

At 1:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jefferson [Davis] [Pierre G. T.] Beauregard Sessions: unreconstructed confederate, bigot, latter-day Savonarola. Did I miss any of his good qualities?

At 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please point out that firing the Alabama shitstain over his (non-)recusal this late after he lied about the recusal makes it plain that the reason is a goddamn lie.
If he wanted a reason that didn't ADD to the general stench, he should fire him for perjuring himself in front of the committee looking into Russia. That at least wasn't that long ago and the perjury was only validated last week by his Russian contact(s).

Neither I nor humankind will lament his firing or his death.

But the retarded orange-utang would probably nominate David Duke or someone his low equal who promised to drop the Russia investigations... and joe manchin would still vote to confirm.

At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

Imagine that we are cheering for Ross Douthat, Mr. Conservative and a Republican advocate! To his credit, Douthat has actually seen the light and recognizes that Trump should not be President. As Douthat stated in his editorial a couple of weeks ago, he was duped and taken in by Trump. Good for him to own up to this. Yeah, him and Joe Scarborough, who wore a red Make American Great Again hat way back when and was a big Trump cheerleader early on.

We all know why Trump won't fire Sessions and it is not because he does not like to fire people - that is total b.s. He fired Comey, didn't he? While it is now crystal clear that he is unbelievably stupid, Trump does seem to grasp that if he fires Sessions, the Dems and some Republicans (at least one would hope) would go ballistic and it would move the dial further towards impeachment. He would be firing Sessions all because he recused himself and thus can no longer be Trump's hammer to fire Mueller and stop the Russia investigation. TRUMP HAS ACKNOWLEDGED THIS REPEATEDLY IN HIS STUPID TWEETS. This move would be another f..king nail in his coffin. His attempts to obstruct the investigation are so so so blatant! His harassment of Sessions is a sign of weakness, as one Republican stated today. He is the bully in action, par excellence, but it is not working. Everyone around Trump can now see that loyalty is totally a one way street. He has none. (By the way, his speech to the Boy Scouts was absolutely shameful.)

At 9:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hone, his speech to the boy scouts was pretty much a hissy fit. The scouts will recognize what it is... though republican voters, MUUUUUCH dumber than boy scouts, won't see it.

He doesn't want loyalty. He wants worship. That's how profoundly immature malignant narcissism works.


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