No longer is the cannabis industry the biggest critic of Jeff Sessions. That honor now goes to Sessions’ former supporters — Donald Trump and the Senate. Much of Trump’s consternation revolves around the Attorney General’s decision to recuse himself from the ongoing investigation into Russia’s possible interference in the 2016 election and what, if any, involvement Russians had with Trump’s campaign team.
Instead, Sessions should have protected the President, Trump has suggested, questioning his decision to assign Sessions head of the Justice Department.
“I put in an attorney general that never took control of the Justice Department,” Trump said during a “Fox & Friends” interview that aired Thursday morning. “Jeff Sessions never took control of the Justice Department and it’s sort of an incredible thing.
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“Even my enemies say that Jeff Sessions should have told you that he was going to recuse himself, and then you wouldn’t have put him in. He took the job and then he said I’m going to recuse myself. I said, ‘What kind of a man is this?’,” Trump added.
Sessions previously held support through the Republican-led Senate. In July of last year, Sen. Lindsey Graham told reporters that Sessions was a “rock-solid conservative” and that if Trump attempted to fire the Attorney General, there “will be holy hell to play,” as Rolling Stone first reported.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 23, 2018
A year can change anyone’s opinions, however. In an interview with Bloomberg News Thursday, Graham suggested that Sessions’ time as Attorney General was nearing its end.
“The president’s entitled to an attorney general he has faith in, somebody that’s qualified for the job, and I think there will come a time, sooner rather than later, where it will be time to have a new face and a fresh voice at the Department of Justice,” Graham said. “Clearly, Attorney General Sessions doesn’t have the confidence of the president.”
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Because Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, it has allowed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to conduct his examinations freely and without interference. Should Trump wish to put an end to Mueller’s investigation, the first step would involve firing Sessions. Like Sessions, whomever would replace him would not be recused from the investigation, and could therefore direct the efforts as they see fit.
Sessions has not backed down from Trump or the Senate in the wake of these comments. He insisted that the Department of Justice will not buckle its operations to political pressures like those exerted by Trump and Graham.
Statement from the Attorney General pic.twitter.com/eMF0CPXLZZ
— Sarah Isgur Flores (@SarahFloresDOJ) August 23, 2018
“I took control of the Department of Justice the day I was sworn in, which is why we have had unprecedented success at effectuating the President’s agenda,” Sessions said in a statement, rebuking Trump’s claims.
“While I am Attorney General, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations. I demand the highest standards, and where they are not met, I take action,” Sessions also added.
Graham, however, clarified that no action should be taken against Session until at least after the midterms. To fire Sessions now would “create havoc,” as the Senate already has his hands full until then.