President Trump unleashed what might be his most brutal online tongue-lashing to date directed at Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday. Trump hasn’t been shy about telling the country about the myriad ways in which Sessions has abandoned his responsibilities at the Justice Department, left his president unprotected, and let Democrat crimes go unpunished, but this is the first time he’s actually blamed the former Alabama senator for hurting the Republican Party politically.
“Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well-publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department,” Trump tweeted. “Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff…..”
The president was clearly referring to the recent indictments brought against Rep. Duncan Hunter of California and Rep. Chris Collins of New York, charged with campaign fraud and insider trading, respectively.
“The Democrats, none of whom voted for Jeff Sessions, must love him now,” Trump continued. “Same thing with Lyin’ James Comey. The Dems all hated him, wanted him out, thought he was disgusting – UNTIL I FIRED HIM! Immediately he became a wonderful man, a saint like figure in fact. Really sick!”
As we noted, this is hardly the first time that Trump has made known his displeasure with the attorney general. Just last month, he sat down for an interview with “Fox & Friends” in which he said that Sessions had “never taken control” of the Justice Department. Ever since Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation (and all other matters stemming from the 2016 election), he has been on the president’s bad side. And with Republicans in the Senate seemingly giving Trump the greenlight to axe Sessions after the midterms are over, the days may be short for our good ol’ attorney general.
The problem going forward is finding a replacement for Sessions who is just as committed to carrying out the conservative overhaul of Justice Department priorities. No doubt about it, Sessions has been a miserable failure when it comes to putting a leash on the Russia investigation and looking into the spectacular crimes of the Obama administration. But in all other matters of the gig, he’s been a godsend. His work to protect the civil liberties of the religious, to prosecute and deport illegal immigrants, and to shift the DOJ back to the firm ground of the law has been indispensable. He may not be as easily replaceable as the president thinks.
Point #2: Firing Sessions will cause an immediate eruption on the left, where (and Trump is right about this) the attorney general has turned into a sympathetic – but still widely despised – figure. And firing Sessions will likely leave Rod Rosenstein in charge of the DOJ for the interim period, and that’s not anything we need right now, either. Furthermore, if Trump replaces Sessions with someone who vows to end the Mueller investigation, well, he might as well just step in and fire Mueller himself. An intermediary is not going to quell the outcry.
At the end of the day, though, President Trump deserves to have confidence in his Cabinet, and it’s beyond clear that Sessions no longer has that confidence. We just hope Trump is ready for the backlash, because it will be fierce.