Home renovation continues, preventing a more timely contribution here. Once again, I offer my sincere apologies.
The Sessions saga also continues.
In March, Sessions was still concerned primarily with illegal immigration rather than the Swamp. On March 10, he spoke to Fox’s Tucker Carlson about the Denver sheriff’s office refusing to release an illegal alien suspected of a hit and run fatality to ICE. While this seems like a Justice Department matter, it is primarily a Department of Homeland Security one at that stage.
However, on March 16, Sessions focussed briefly on his own patch and finally fired Andrew McCabe as deputy director of the FBI. McCabe had been on gardening leave since January. While McCabe saw his dismissal as political, Sessions took instruction from the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility. Prior to his dismissal, The Conservative Treehouse reported:
Director Andrew “Andy” McCabe intentionally leaked information about the Clinton investigation to the media, and coordinated the leaks therein. The IG referred the issue to the FBI’s internal OPR for review and recommendation to the Attorney General.
The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability.
Rumours circulated that Sessions was told by someone that he had to either fire McCabe or be fired himself.
The timing has had an impact on McCabe’s pension. Wikipedia says:
McCabe was dismissed less than two days before he would have collected a full early pension for his FBI career. He may have to wait until age 57–62 to begin collecting pension benefits. Trump immediately celebrated on Twitter, saying “Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy.”
Another rumour circulated: McCabe was so furious about the pension issue that he allegedly threatened to ‘torch’ the bureau if he did not receive his pension. This was the guy who also allegedly said in the early days of the Trump administration:
F— Flynn and then we f— Trump.
McCabe issued a lengthy statement about his firing, but ABC News reported that, early in 2017, McCabe authorised a probe into Sessions. Sessions apparently had not known about this when he sacked McCabe:
Nearly a year before Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired senior FBI official Andrew McCabe for what Sessions called a “lack of candor,” McCabe oversaw a federal criminal investigation into whether Sessions lacked candor when testifying before Congress about contacts with Russian operatives, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News …
One source told ABC News that Sessions was not aware of the investigation when he decided to fire McCabe last Friday less than 48 hours before McCabe, a former FBI deputy director, was due to retire from government and obtain a full pension, but an attorney representing Sessions declined to confirm that.
At the end of March, Paul Manafort’s legal team filed a motion objecting to Robert Mueller’s investigation of Manafort’s activities prior to becoming Trump’s campaign manager for a few months in 2016. Manafort’s lawyers rightly pointed out that such an investigation was outside of Mueller’s scope. It would have been up to Sessions to do something, as Law & Crime explains:
Paul Manafort‘s legal team brought a motion to dismiss on Tuesday, noting that Rosenstein could not appoint Mueller to any investigation outside the scope of the 2016 campaign since Sessions did not recuse himself for anything outside the campaign …
Sessions formally notifying Mueller that he does not have authority to act outside of campaign-related cases and cases related to obstruction of Mueller’s investigation would be doing what the Constitution compels: enforcing the Appointments Clause of the Constitution. Additionally, Sessions notifying Mueller that he does not have authority to act outside of campaign-related cases would be exercising Sessions’ court-recognized Constitutional obligation to “direct and supervise litigation” conducted by the Department of Justice. Furthermore, Sessions notifying Mueller that he does not have authority to act outside of campaign-related cases protects against the inappropriate use of the federal grand jury that defendant Manafort now rightly complains about.
Predictably, Sessions did nothing to rein in Mueller. Manafort ended up being accused of witness tampering — contacting a former associate turned witness, a fact of which he was unaware — and was moved from house arrest to solitary confinement ‘for his own protection’ in June.
On August 21, Manafort was found guilty in Virginia of five counts of tax fraud, one of the four counts of failing to disclose his foreign bank accounts, and two counts of bank fraud. A mistrial was declared on the other ten charges.
In the District of Columbia trial in September, Manafort pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and to witness tampering. Wikipedia says:
Sessions prides himself on his impartiality. The Manafort trials attest to that. Sessions forgets that without Manafort’s corralling of Republican delegates in 2016, he would not be attorney general right now. Manafort’s life is now ruined. Sadly, Sessions is still attorney general.
On March 29, Sessions announced that, in lieu of a second special counsel, he had appointed a prosecutor from outside the Beltway to investigate the corruption in the FBI and DOJ. That prosecutor is John Huber from Utah. He is the state’s top federal prosecutor, whom Sessions appointed to the US Attorney Advisory Committee in 2017.
To date, we have heard nothing from Huber. That comes as no surprise.
Meanwhile, the House and Senate were awaiting documented evidence about FISA abuse. PowerLine thought that Sessions had it all wrapped up with the Huber appointment and took issue with Trump’s February tweet that said:
Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!
It turns out that, once again, Trump was right. Handing over the documents has been taking forever, much to the consternation of congressional committees.
The Conservative Treehouse was, at that time, optimistic that Huber was the silver bullet:
How long will radio hosts wait before dropping the outrage against Sessions?
On April 2, Sessions filed ‘yet another lawsuit’ against California. Like the others, it seems to have gone nowhere fast and involves, once more, illegals and drug trafficking. Once again, this is more of a Homeland Security concern than a Justice Department one.
It was becoming clearer that Sessions’s deputy, Rod Rosenstein, was — and is — the de facto attorney general. Sessions supporters were angry with the Gateway Pundit for pointing out that fact, particularly with regard to Paul Manafort:
In an insightful Twitter thread Tuesday, lawyer Robert Barnes explained why he believes Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein usurped the power of his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and ultimately granted special counsel Robert Mueller “secret authorization,” to go after former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.
The article says:
“Problem 1: Rosenstein was “acting attorney general” only on matters Sessions had recused himself. Sessions only recused himself from DOJ investigations of 2016 campaign. Yet, Rosenstein claimed to authorize Mueller to investigate matters dating back to 2006 & ending before 2016,” Barnes noted.
“Problem 2: Rosenstein’s original authorization of Mueller extended only to matters of “Russia government collusion” in 2016 campaign, not to internal Ukranian politics from 2006 & ended years before 2016 campaign. A special counsel cannot be continually used as a substitute AG.”
“Problem 3: Rosenstein does not have authorization over tax crimes. Only the Assistant Attorney General in charge of Tax Division can authorize indictments of tax crimes. Rosenstein could not authorize Mueller to look at tax crimes when Rosenstein himself never had that authority,” Barnes pointed out.
“Problem 4: Rosenstein’s letter tells Mueller only to look to Rosenstein for clarification of Mueller’s authorization. Rosenstein is not the Attorney General of the United States, and could not monopolize supervision of Mueller for matters that did not relate to Sessions’ recusal.”
“Problem 5: #Rosenstein issuing his expanded #Mueller authorization in secret creates a secret Inquisitor, unelected & un-appointed by elected officials, with all the powers of the federal criminal law enforcement, but none of the democratic checks and balances. Unconstitutional!” Barnes concluded …
In January, Manafort filed a civil lawsuit in a D.C. court against Mueller, Rosenstein and the Justice Department, alleging the special counsel went outside of the investigation’s scope.
True — all of it. But Sessions didn’t care then and doesn’t care now. In fact, he is so supportive of Rosenstein, that he seems to have Stockholm Syndrome.
Sessions was still interested in border enforcement and issued a new ‘zero-tolerance policy’ on April 6. Yawn. Catch-and-release continues, because the border agents are overwhelmed with groups of illegals crossing the southern border. Therefore, zero tolerance cannot be enforced.
Dilbert creator Scott Adams made a video on April 9, just after the FBI raided Trump’s then-personal attorney Michael Cohen’s office, home and hotel room:
Trump should fire Rosenstein, Sessions, all of them. Even people who have names that sound like these a**holes …
Trump was furious about the raid on Cohen. CNN’s television headline was:
Trump: FBI raid on his attorney is ‘a disgraceful situation’ and ‘an attack on our country’
and the headline for the video reads:
Trump: Jeff Sessions made a terrible mistake
‘The attorney general made a terrible mistake when he did this and when he recused himself, or he should have certainly let us know if he was going to recuse himself, and we would have used a, put a different attorney general in,’ the president said late Monday afternoon. ‘So he made what I consider to be a very terrible mistake for the country. But you’ll figure that out.’
The president also brought up Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who Bloomberg reported had signed off on the Cohen raid after being approached by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, noting how Rosenstein had agreed that Trump should fire ex-FBI Director James Comey, which prompted Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller.
As time went on, Cohen turned out not to be such a good guy. Trump was incensed that Cohen chose Bill Clinton’s former special counsel, Lanny Davis, as his lawyer. Cohen, who had worked for the Trump Organization since 2006, seemed to have turned against his former boss. Or so Davis said:
Responding to speculation that President Trump might issue a pardon for Cohen, lawyer Davis said on NPR, “I know that Mr. Cohen would never accept a pardon from a man that he considers to be both corrupt and a dangerous person in the oval office. And [Cohen] has flatly authorized me to say under no circumstances would he accept a pardon from Mr. Trump.” In his interview to Sky News, Davis said the turning point for his client’s attitude toward Trump was the Helsinki summit in July 2018, which caused him to doubt Trump’s loyalty to the U.S.
Cohen is co-operating with Mueller’s team at the present time. In August, he pleaded guilty to five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate for the “principal purpose of influencing [the] election”. Hmm.
But I digress.
Sessions still wasn’t ordering the DOJ and FBI to provide requested documents to Congress. On April 10, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) tweeted:
The Department of Justice is currently covering their own trail because they know they engaged in FISA abuses that they don’t want to be prosecuted for.
Precisely. As TheLastRefuge (The Conservative Treehouse’s Sundance) pointed out:
I think this BIG PICTURE issue is the epicenter of the fracture, inside a larger dynamic, where those who support Jeff Sessions are at fault. The unwillingness of Trump appointed DOJ officials to put urgent sunlight upon this issue makes them complicit
Just so. However, a rift appeared between Sessions supporters and opponents on Trump-supporting sites. Opponents were further buoyed by more evidence of Sessions’s misplaced focus on illegals when Breitbart reported on April 11:
AG Sessions Freezes Aid Program for Illegal Migrants
How could Sessions continue to ignore congressional requests for FISA documents?
Sessions opponents were further incensed because he was doing nothing about limiting the ever-increasing scope of the Mueller probe. On April 11, former US Attorney for the District of Columbia Joe DiGenova told Fox’s Sean Hannity that it was disgraceful for Sessions to sit like a bump on a log while Mueller was ‘destroying’ the DOJ:
Mueller now has no legitimacy. The tactics that they have chosen to use against the President of the United States, against whom there is no evidence of a crime and never has been from the beginning, the use of those tactics has delegitimized the investigation… Robert Mueller, Rod Rosenstein and Christopher Wray are doing mortal damage to the institutions they represent… I have to tell you that what Bob Mueller is doing and has done is destroying the Department of Justice. And for Jeff Sessions to sit there like a bump on a log and do nothing about it is disgraceful.
Suspicions were further raised a week later, when the GOPe Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) told Fox News:
I’m glad Jeff Sessions is where he is. I served with him for 20 years in the Senate. I think he’s doing a good job as attorney general, and I’m glad
@POTUS is keeping him right where he is.
McConnell is happy that Sessions isn’t draining the Swamp.
On April 18, conservative author Larry Schweikart purred that now was not the time to drain the Swamp, because most Americans were unaware of the issues surrounding it:
Let’s say that indictments were brought without this public education process: it would be treated by all the fake news media as a “witch hunt” or “distraction.”
However, Judge Andrew Napolitano, a Fox News political analyst, asked what was preventing Sessions from making a ‘bold’ move by going after Hillary Clinton when:
The evidence of her guilt of espionage is ‘overwhelming’…
On April 20, Sessions revealed his support for and admiration of Rod Rosenstein. (Why would he do a thing like that? Unless … )
The Washington Post reported that Sessions said if Rosey went, he would resign in protest:
Sessions made his position known in a phone call to White House counsel Donald McGahn last weekend, as Trump’s fury at Rosenstein peaked after the deputy attorney general approved the FBI’s raid April 9 on the president’s personal attorney Michael Cohen …
In the phone call with McGahn, Sessions wanted details of a meeting Trump and Rosenstein held at the White House on April 12, according to a person with knowledge of the call. Sessions expressed relief to learn that their meeting was largely cordial. Sessions said he would have had to consider leaving as the attorney general had Trump ousted Rosenstein, this person said.
Another person familiar with the exchange said Sessions did not intend to threaten the White House but rather wanted to convey the untenable position that Rosenstein’s firing would put him in.
The Gateway Pundit asked, ‘Could we be this lucky? …’ (emphasis in the original):
Here’s some good news for your weekend.
AWOL Attorney General Jeff Sessions promised to resign if dirty cop Rod Rosenstein gets fired.
What wonderful news!
Sessions is famous for signing over his leadership role to Rosenstein the day after he was sworn in. This of course allowed the Deep State to wreak havoc on the Trump Administration for months and months over a phony Russia collusion scandal.
Sessions will go down as one of the worst Attorneys General in US history.
“GOP Lawmakers asking Sessions to Investigate Comey and Hillary Clinton.” @FoxNews Good luck with that request!
On April 26, Raw Story reported that Sessions told the House Appropriations Committee that he shared the president’s ‘frustration’ at the Mueller probe. Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-West Virginia) told Sessions that his constituents were frustrated that no action had been taken against Hillary Clinton and other Trump enemies. The House Appropriations Committee wanted a second special counsel, but Sessions declined to appoint one. In that respect, I agree; these special counsels go nowhere and last for years.
Regardless of everyone’s frustrations, the aforementioned Larry Schweikart assured his readers that Sessions’s focus on illegals and MS-13 was cover for draining the swamp.
The Trumpet expressed the opposing perspective and made far better points, including these:
Jeff Sessions has finally roused himself into a state of energy after a year in a near death state in order to come to the rescue of the conflicted and corrupt Rod Rosenstein. The intended threat is that if President Trump does what he should do and fires corrupt and conflicted Rod Rosenstein there would be a mass resignation of DOJ hacks starting with Jeff “Magoo” Sessions.
A dead or sleeping moose on a highway, like an overturned truck full of chickens, can block traffic for miles and miles. Once the dead or sleepy moose is removed traffic can once again flow freely and we can all get to our destination. There is a dead moose on the Trump highway of success which must be removed. However an odd assortment of alleged Trump supporters, kooks, and clowns, as well as Deep State conspirators, collude to keep the dead moose exactly where it is – blocking traffic and preventing the Trump highway from reopening – keeping us all in a logjam.
The dead moose is Jeff Sessions.
The dead moose is still there, immovable, stinking up and blocking the MAGA highway.
In May, more Trump supporters began to suspect that Sessions is either a dead moose or, worse, a plant. More on that next time.