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Old July 25th, 2017, 02:22 PM   #1
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Time Won't Tell?

President Donald Trump's increasing attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions has led some to speculate that the president could oust Sessions or get him to resign and then seek to make a recess appointment to fill the void while the Senate is on break, bypassing a traditional confirmation.

In a Washington Post story on the growing divide between Trump and his attorney general on Monday, a University of Texas law professor told the publication that a recess appointment was one option available to Trump should he seek to oust Sessions.

Normally, a potential Sessions replacement would have to face Senate confirmation, a process that would be extremely difficult for any potential nominee to pass even as the Senate is under Republican control. Based on Trump's public comments, it would look as though Trump replaced Sessions solely for the purpose of selecting an attorney general who would be willing to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, who is overseeing the FBI investigation into possible collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russians. Sessions has recused himself from all campaign-related investigations, much to Trump's chagrin.

If Trump were to replace Sessions while the Senate is in recess next month, they could serve until the end of the next Senate session in early 2019 without being confirmed.

CNN reported Tuesday that senators are "planning to continue procedural moves" that would prevent the Senate from "formally adjourning for recess," seeking to prevent Trump from making any sort of recess appointment. As Democratic and Republican aides told CNN, Democrats plan to "force the Senate to hold pro forma sessions — a practice both parties have carried out to block recess appointments from presidents of the opposite party."

A pro forma session would mean the Senate did not officially go on recess.

"While Republicans control the Senate now, the only way they can formally adjourn — which would set up a period when recess appointments are allowable — is to pass an adjournment resolution," CNN noted. "The problem is that Democrats can filibuster that resolution, which they would do to prevent Trump from making recess appointments."

Democratic Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia noted to Business Insider that the Supreme Court's decision in NLRB v. Noel Canning gave the Senate the "ability to prevent any recess appointments simply by holding pro forma sessions during August."

"They absolutely must take this course to protect Congress' power to conduct oversight of the executive branch," he said.

Concern over such an attempt to circumvent the Senate grew as Trump continued lambasting Sessions throughout Tuesday. The president started his day by blasting Sessions on Twitter for having taken "a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!" The president also asked "where is the investigation A.G." in a tweet in which he discussed "Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump campaign."

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal later in the day, Trump said he was "very disappointed in Jeff Sessions," a statement he would repeat in a Rose Garden press conference alongside Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri just hours later. Trump told the Journal that Sessions' endorsement of his candidacy early on was "not like a great loyal thing."

He did not, however, say whether he was planning to oust Sessions.

A Democratic aide to a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee told Business Insider in an email that a Sessions firing would turn Washington, DC, into "a circus."

"Is it a precursor to firing Mueller?" the aide asked. "If so, what happens then? Is it because he wants the AG to go after his former political opponent, Hillary Clinton? Is it because of the Russia investigation? Who comes next? And what's the point in having an AG if they're only there to do exactly what the President wants them to do?"

"The scary thing is that it seems almost inevitable," the aide continued. "If he does it in August, you can just see Republicans giving BS answers to local TV cameras like 'I'm here to talk about tax reform, not DC drama,' and then the president just gets away with it."

Fellow Democrats were adamant about the storm that would ensue if Trump decided to oust Sessions over his Russia recusal.

"President Trump has made it crystal clear that he fired FBI Director Comey because he was investigating Russia and that he is infuriated that Attorney General Sessions didn't shut down the investigation personally," Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland told Business Insider in a statement. "The basic question is why President Trump now wants Sessions out."

Cummings, who is the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said it would be both "completely inappropriate" and "further evidence of the president's obstruction of justice" if Trump tried to install a new attorney general in hopes of ending the Mueller investigation.

"Given all that the President has said and done to date, the Senate must not allow anyone to assume the position of attorney general without its advice and consent, and it should take the appropriate steps procedurally to stay in session to block such a move," Cummings said.

Firing Sessions now would make clear that Trump "will do nearly anything to hide the truth about his campaign's involvement with Russia," Beyer, the Virginia congressman, said.

"I bear Sessions no affection; he has already been one of the most harmful attorneys general in history and I have called for his resignation," Beyer said. "But we cannot allow the President to continue to undermine the independent investigation into his Russia dealings."

During a Senate floor speech Tuesday morning, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer suggested that a recess appointment to replace Sessions would create "a constitutional crisis."

"It's clear that President Trump is trying to bully his own Attorney General out of office," Schumer said. "How can anyone draw a different conclusion? If President Trump has serious criticisms of his attorney general, why not go talk to him in person? Why air his grievances so publicly? He wants him out."

Schumer said that Democrats "would never go along with a recess appointment if that situation arises."

"We have some tools in our toolbox to stymie such an action and we are ready to use all of them," Schumer said. "Any time."

Schumer added that he can't imagine that the Republican leadership "would be complicit in creating a constitutional crisis."

After Trump's latest tweets targeting Sessions, some of the most prominent Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee took to defending the attorney general who now finds himself under fire.

"I think he's doing what he believes he's obligated to do under the rules that govern attorney generals and that, in order to restore the credibility of the Department of Justice and the FBI, something we sorely need after the last administration, that he made the right decision to recuse himself," Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the Senate Majority Whip, told CNN. "I happen to agree with him that he did, having participated in the campaign like he did."

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said in a statement that Trump's Tuesday morning tweet aimed at Sessions was "highly inappropriate." The South Carolina senator called Sessions "a rock-solid conservative" who "believes in the rule of law."

"President Trump's tweet today suggesting Attorney General Sessions pursue prosecution of a former political rival is highly inappropriate," Graham said. "Prosecutorial decisions should be based on applying facts to the law without hint of political motivation. To do otherwise is to run away from the long-standing American tradition of separating the law from politics regardless of party."

Elsewhere, some of the president's top spokespeople said nothing to downplay Trump's latest blasting of Sessions. On conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt's radio show, new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said it was "probably right" to assume Trump wants Sessions gone.

And on "Fox & Friends," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump's frustration with Sessions "hasn't gone away."

"And you know, I don't think it will," she added.

For his part, Sessions, whom Trump called "beleaguered" on Monday, is growing upset at the president, allies told The Daily Beast. But those same sources said the attorney general has no plans to quit his post. In a press conference last week, Sessions said, "the work we're doing today is the kind of work we intend to continue," adding that he is "totally confident that" he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein "can continue to run this office in an effective way."

The spark that ignited this latest fire came during an interview Trump held with The New York Times last week. In it, he ripped Sessions for recusing himself from all investigations related to the campaign, which led to Rosenstein having oversight of the Russia investigation. Rosenstein later appointed former FBI Director Mueller as special counsel after Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey.

"So Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself," Trump said, adding, "Frankly, I think [that] is very unfair to the president. How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, 'Thanks, Jeff, but I can't, you know, I'm not going to take you.' It's extremely unfair, and that's a mild word, to the president. So he recuses himself."

Democrats fear 'constitutional crisis' as Trump steps up attacks on Sessions - Business Insider

Trump's Tuesday tweet storm, blow by blow - Chicago Tribune

Trump Says About Firing Sessions: "We Will See What Happens." He Said Same Before Firing Comey

Why Trump is abusing Jeff Sessions - LA Times

Trump publicly aired his frustration with Attorney General Jeff Sessions at a press conference on Tuesday. He declined to say whether he would ask Sessions to resign.

Before the press conference, Trump told The Wall Street Journal he was "very disappointed" with Sessions for his decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe.

Last week, Trump told the New York Times he was frustrated with Sessions. Since then, he has tweeted criticisms of Sessions' work.

President Donald Trump publicly aired his frustration with Attorney General Jeff Sessions during an afternoon press conference Tuesday with the Lebanese prime minister.

"He should not have recused himself almost immediately after he took office, and if he was going to recuse himself he should have told me to prior to taking office, and I would've quite simply picked somebody else," Trump said.

Trump said he thinks Sessions' actions were "unfair to the presidency." The president, however, declined to say whether he would ask Sessions to resign or if Sessions should resign on his own. Instead, he said, "we'll see what happens. Time will tell."

The statements came after an interview with The Wall Street Journal in which Trump said he is "very disappointed" with Sessions for his decision to recuse himself from a probe into whether Russia meddled in the presidential election. Trump declined to say whether he planned to fire Sessions.

Trump has tweeted his frustration with Sessions. The Wall Street Journal asked how long Trump planned to criticize his attorney general without firing him.

"I'm just looking at it," he told the Journal. "I'll just see. It's a very important thing."

Last week, Trump told The New York Times he would have never appointed Sessions if he knew Sessions would have recused himself from the Russia investigation. Since then, Trump has been vocal about his disapproval of Sessions' work.

Hours before Trump's press conference remarks, he tweeted:
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/...ed-in-him.html

Trump won't say whether he'll fire Sessions, but says he's 'very disappointed' in him

Donald Trump’s rage toward his attorney general has been simmering since the evening four months ago when Jeff Sessions left the president not just politically exposed but – to Trump, just as bad – also looking foolish and powerless.

Trump and his press secretary had spent 2 March publicly pooh-poohing the notion that Sessions should step aside from oversight of justice department inquiries into Russian interference with the 2016 election, which US intelligence agencies say was aimed at helping Trump.

“There’s nothing to recuse himself from,” Sean Spicer told Fox News that morning, as Democrats insisted Sessions, the Trump campaign’s first and loudest supporter in the Senate, faced a conflict of interest.

“I don’t think so,” Trump said at an event that afternoon, repeating: “I don’t think so at all.”

A few hours later, Sessions called a press conference to announce that he was recusing himself.

The attorney general’s decision was in keeping with justice department precedent and an assurance he had given senators during his confirmation process: that he and his senior officials would discuss removing him from any matter “where I believed my impartiality might reasonably be questioned”.

It was, moreover, politically necessary, following the explosive revelation a day earlier that Sessions had in fact met with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, during the campaign, before falsely telling senators under oath that he’d had no contact with Russian officials. Pressure on Sessions was mounting.

But to Trump – demanding of absolute loyalty, ignorant of constitutional checks and unconcerned with ethical propriety – the recusal was a personal betrayal. It also gave a new sense of gravity to the Russia inquiry that he was busily dismissing on Twitter as a witch-hunt by sore-loser Democrats.

Most seriously for Trump’s political future, the recusal removed immediate control of the Russia investigation from the hands of Trump’s own circle. To the dismay of the White House, the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein – overseeing the Russia saga in lieu of Sessions – proceeded to appoint Robert Mueller, a formidable former FBI director, as a special counsel in charge of the inquiry.

Over the past week, Trump’s anger has boiled over.

The president was furious at media reports that Mueller was expanding his inquiries to take in Trump’s controversial business dealings and years of personal tax returns, which he has steadfastly refused to make public, bucking a decades-old norm for US presidential candidates.

Trump used an interview with the New York Times to lash out at his own attorney general, claiming the recusal was “very unfair”, and declaring that he would not have given Sessions the job if he had known the attorney general would step aside on Russia.

Then came the tweets. On Monday morning, Trump asked why America’s “beleaguered AG” had not focused his attention on the misdeeds of Hillary Clinton, Trump’s former Democratic opponent. Then he declined to invite Sessions, a former Eagle Scout, along with other former scouts in his cabinet to his speech at the National Scout Jamboree.

Early on Tuesday, Trump intensified his assault, accusing Sessions of having been “VERY weak” on Clinton and leaks to the media. Nine minutes later, he directly accused the acting director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, of corruption. Garbling a reference to a donation McCabe’s wife received from groups associated with a Clinton ally for a Virginia state senate campaign, Trump falsely said McCabe had taken “$700,000 from H for wife”.

Trump appears to view the justice department’s typical demonstration of independence from the White House as insubordination. In the Times interview, he falsely asserted that the FBI director only began reporting to the attorney general “out of courtesy” during the Nixon era – the implication being that no longer needed to be so. Trump’s nominee to take over the job, Christopher Wray, has promised autonomy.

So what now? The president’s outbursts have raised concerns that he intends to remove Sessions and appoint someone willing to fire Mueller, ending the troublesome criminal investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, which has consumed the first six months of his presidency.

Three potential scenarios were outlined elegantly on Tuesday by Steve Vladeck, a professor of law at the University of Texas.

Trump could fire Sessions and promote Rosenstein to the top job temporarily, in line with justice department rules of succession and an order earlier this year by Trump himself. Yet since startling legal commentators by supporting Trump’s dismissal of the FBI director, James Comey, Rosenstein has shown no sign of being the kind of patsy Trump seems to desire.

Rosenstein, too, came in for abuse from Trump in the New York Times interview. The president in effect accused Rosenstein – a Republican who comes from Pennsylvania – of being a closet Democrat from Baltimore, where Rosenstein once served as US attorney for Maryland.

Trump would no doubt like to replace Sessions with a new loyalist, such as the former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani. But such an appointment would need to be approved by the Senate, which is likely to demand an assurance of non-interference with Mueller’s Russia inquiry. According to Vladeck, Trump could attempt to use a little-used legal provision to move elsewhere in government a senior official who was already confirmed by senators.

Most feasibly – and most alarmingly to his opponents – Trump may be able to appoint anyone he chooses as attorney general until January 2019 once the Senate breaks for its summer recess next month. The US president is empowered under the constitution to “fill up all vacancies” during the recess. When Barack Obama tried to do the same with other positions, the Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell kept the chamber in session with token announcements each morning even after senators had gone home for their vacations. It is not clear whether he would do the same to stop a Republican president.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...7-f226dfd5612c
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Old July 25th, 2017, 02:45 PM   #2
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One would be hard-pressed to find anyone with any integrity to side with Trump regarding his public statements about Sessions.
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Old July 25th, 2017, 05:00 PM   #3
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IMO king trump needs to put ol' Jeff on a leash or send him packing. Nobody wants to hear is archaic war on drugs malarkey. I thought they were going to do the smart thing and let the states to push hard on states rights on those issues and then turn around and use them to allow states to abolish abortion if they wished.

I guess they still could but it doesn't look like it.
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Old July 25th, 2017, 05:50 PM   #4
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IMO king trump needs to put ol' Jeff on a leash or send him packing. Nobody wants to hear is archaic war on drugs malarkey. I thought they were going to do the smart thing and let the states to push hard on states rights on those issues and then turn around and use them to allow states to abolish abortion if they wished.

I guess they still could but it doesn't look like it.
That is what I am talking about. If Trump wants to fire Sessions, then he needs to fire him instead of daily tweets as if he is releasing parts of the screenplay for Mean Girls III that he wrote.
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Old July 25th, 2017, 05:56 PM   #5
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That is what I am talking about. If Trump wants to fire Sessions, then he needs to fire him instead of daily tweets as if he is releasing parts of the screenplay for Mean Girls III that he wrote.
Lord Lard-Ass just can't let go of the reality TV mentality.
He's building up suspense, wanting the "fans" to be breathlessly awaiting his next dramatic Tweet. Will today be the day he fires Sessions??? Stay tuned fans!!!

And you people are the ones always bashing the "Hollywood culture", just look at the clown you put in the WH!
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Old July 25th, 2017, 06:09 PM   #6
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David Chalian, CNN political director, says that the disappointment is a, two words, 'red flag.' That's because it is graphic nature.

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Old July 25th, 2017, 06:11 PM   #7
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Laura Coates, a former federal prosecutor, was striking a chord, saying that it was morally wrong.

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Old July 25th, 2017, 06:12 PM   #8
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One would be hard-pressed to find anyone with any integrity to side with Trump regarding his public statements about Sessions.
And what is that?

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Old July 25th, 2017, 06:17 PM   #9
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That is what I am talking about. If Trump wants to fire Sessions, then he needs to fire him instead of daily tweets as if he is releasing parts of the screenplay for Mean Girls III that he wrote.
If he fires him he will have to make a public strategic move out of it.

I honestly tried to give ol' jeffe a shot but he is just to authoritarian for me and it does not look like they are using it to their advantage. Right now they have the support of a lot of liberty minded people, if they go all 1980s war on drugs retarded sanders could run on the socialist ticket w/ adding ending the war on drugs to his everything is free batshit economic plan and walk away w/ the thing.
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Old July 25th, 2017, 06:26 PM   #10
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And what is that?

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