​Why AG Sessions Pushed Back Against His Own Party

Where to start?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is implying he’d like Attorney General Jeff Sessions to retake his senate seat in what one presumes would be through a write-in vote that would do several things:

Keep Roy Moore out of the Senate.
Keep Moore's opponent Democrat Doug Jones out of the Senate.
Kick Jeff Sessions out of the Department of Justice and back over or down to the Senate.
Undermine the possibility of a DOJ special counsel to look into Hillary's Server, the DNC and the Trump Dossier and Hillary's campaign paying for the Trump Dossier as well as the Russia angle on the Uranium One sale, including huge donations to the Clinton Foundation.
The last possibility is perhaps not an intentional one on McConnell's part, Perhaps, but who can tell at this point? Because AG Sessions - who one suspects wants very much to remain AG rather than return to his old seat in the Senate - has pushed back against fellow GOP'ers - especially Ohio's Jim Jordan - who are demanding that the DOJ appoint a special prosecutor to look into the Hillary portfolio, if you will. Sessions insisted in the hearing before the House Judiciary Committee that the DOJ has a process in place and that:

we have to study what the facts are and to evaluate whether it meets the standards it requires.

So there. Yes AG Sessions believes in process. He after all recused himself from the Russia probes when others have stated that he did not have to do so, given that the huff was over a cordial, non-eventful (as far as we know) routine meeting with a Russian ambassador. That recusal had far reaching consequences and helped lead to the appointment of special counsel Mueller by Deputy, and acting, AG Rod Rosenstein.

The House Judiciary Committee, led by Virginia's Bob Goodlatte, are not impressed. They essentially feel that both the DOJ and the FBI are partisan strongholds filled with Blue-voting bureaucrats, and who are probably using the Russia probes as a partisan witch hunt. But AG Sessions isn't ready to denounce the department that he is head of, and is more likely to defend it before Congress, as he did at the hearing. Even if has seemed to react more proactively to suggestions by President Trump, who has tweeted a whole lot over the same issue taking sides with Jordan and Goodlatte, essentially.

This stand-off between Congress and the DOJ is a problem because it shows a lack of faith in two important institutions in government - the Department of Justice and the FBI - by the ruling members of another central institution - the House of Representatives. This is turning into a GOP demolition derby. But unlike Watergate where despite the outrage or anger or disappointment in Nixon's dirty tricks re-election campaign, there is no longer a baseline of support for and belief in the institution of government. That's just about gone nowadays. Support for government in 2017 means support for one or other side of any given divisive issue. Not support for the institution itself. While this view has always existed on the part of some (many?) within government, it is now a commonly held position by most of the public.

Again, the House Judiciary Committee is calling the DOJ and the FBI partisan. Not just individuals within those institutions, but the institutions themselves. They may be right. But if Goodlatte and Jordan are right and if, as Jordan put it:

...a major political party was working with the Federal government to then turn an opposition research document into an intelligence document ... to get a warrant to spy on President Trump's campaign."

Then there is no such thing as rights or justice or rules and laws. Only allies and enemies. As divided and tribal as politics is right now, do we all really want to go there?

Was that frightening possibility what AG Sessions was pushing back against at the hearing? Or was it merely a bureaucratic instinct to defend his own department? Your answer to that question likely determines how much, or how little, faith you have left in government.

Posted by Keeley at November 16, 2017 6:43 PM
Comment #421681

Government has made the mistake of believing it must manage every aspect of American life. They feel they must write laws for specific instances for or against specific people or groups of people. They’ve lost their mooring, which should be individual freedom and equality. One group shouldn’t be singled out for good or bad. If congress can’t write a law that effects every person in the country equally then it has no business writing a law at all.

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The democratic party is not democratic. Closer to communist by far, IMO.

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We have the Corpocracy we deserve. The Attny Gen is up against the Corpocracy and the communist democrats.

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