It was during a signature Trump campaign rally when Jefferson Beauregard Sessions first voiced his support publicly for the then Candidate Donald Trump.
He put a white “Make America Great Again” hat on his head and enticed the crowd along-side the future president. Sessions was the first big name senator to back Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election and many think that without Sessions’ support, we may have a President Rubio or even another President Bush—if not President Clinton.
Sessions had the political clout that the entire Trump campaign lacked and so the question must be asked: Why fire the man who gave you legitimacy and helped you become the most powerful man in the world? The answer—fear.
In 2017, after being appointed and confirmed to the office of Attorney General of the United States, Jeff Sessions recused himself from any investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign.
“I have been called a surrogate at a time or two,” stated Sessions when discussing his offi-cial capacity on the campaign trail. This recusal, some say, ensured the demise of Sessions’ cabinet career before it ever really started.
Upon Sessions’ recusal, Rod Rosenstein was put in charge of all investigations regarding the Trump campaign and Russia. Soon after, Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller to the position of Special Council to in-vestigate both the Trump campaign and Russian election meddling.
This is when Sessions’ career was unofficially ended in the minds of many. It should be not-ed that Robert Mueller is no spring chicken— he’s a Vietnam era Marine who served as director of the FBI for 12 years under George W. Bush and Barack Obama—he is also a conservative republican and a legend within the Justice Department.
After the appointment of Mueller, President Trump began to insult Sessions both on Twit-ter and in his rally speeches while calling the investigation a partisan witch hunt and blaming Sessions for allowing it to continue.
In June of 2018, Trump tweeted, “[t]he Russian Witch Hunt Hoax continues, all because Jeff Sessions didn’t tell me he was going to recuse himself…I would have quickly picked someone else. So much time and money wasted, so many lives ruined…and Sessions knew better than most that there was No Collusion.” This tweet made the firing of Sessions less than difficult to predict and fairly easy to under-stand.
Trump fears what this investigation may find, and he believes that by firing Sessions, he can place someone in that role who will be willing to hinder or even shut down the investigation.
Jeff Sessions has a past and beliefs that many find appalling, but the fact remains that he was appointed to his office lawfully and subsequently fired for obeying the standard operating pro-cedure for an investigation in which one has a conflict of interest.
He was fired because he refused to squash a legitimate investigation which has resulted in the indictment of 13 Russian nationals and six guilty pleas from members of Trump’s campaign in-cluding his long-time personal attorney, Michael Cohen.
After Sessions’ firing, Trump appointed Sessions’ former Chief of Staff at the Department of Justice, Matt Whitaker— a man with a checkered past of his own.
Aside from his outspoken hostility towards the Mueller investigation, he was involved with a company which scammed workers out of their life savings in some cases.
Whitaker originally said he knew nothing of the fraud, but recent reports have shown he received multiple calls regarding the fraud before forwarding the calls to another staff member and moving on as if nothing had happened.
In recent days, Whitaker has changed his tone regarding the Mueller probe. He claimed he would follow “all the regulations, policies, and procedures” that govern the investigation. So, it seems Mueller’s appointment is safe—for now.
No matter what political affiliation you claim, we should be able to agree on this: America is a nation of laws and whether you are a drive-through attendant at McDonalds or the President of the United States, you are expected to obey those laws.
If you insist on breaking those laws, you must take responsibility for your actions and serve the punishment imposed on you. One can rant and tweet about the loyalty of those close to them but in a nation of laws, public servants are supposed to be loyal to democratic ideals and to the public they serve- even if it means being fired for doing so.