In March, in response to evidence that Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have lied under oath about his communications with Russians during the 2016 election, quite a few congressional Democrats called for the Alabama Republican to resign. That, of course, didn’t happen.
A couple of months later, Donald Trump reportedly blamed Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment on Sessions, condemned the attorney general’s “disloyalty,” called him an “idiot,” and said Sessions should resign. That didn’t happen, either.
And yet, the discussion continues. The Washington Examiner today published an opinion piece from House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and former House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) – two of Congress’ most far-right members – calling for Sessions’ ouster.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the Russia investigation, but it would appear he has no control at all of the premier law enforcement agency in the world. It is time for Sessions to start managing in a spirit of transparency to bring all of this improper behavior to light and stop further violations. If Sessions can’t address this issue immediately, then we have one final question needing an answer: When is it time for a new attorney general?
Sadly, it seems the answer is now.
In all likelihood, the attorney general will ignore the appeal from Meadows and Jordan, but it’s important to understand the point of their piece.
As the seriousness of Donald Trump’s Russia scandal grows, many of the president’s most reflexively partisan allies are rushing to undermine and discredit the investigation and those leading it. This is why, for example, we saw one far-right congressman tell MSNBC last week he wants to see the Justice Department and the FBI “purged” of potential Trump detractors.
With this in mind, Meadows and Jordan aren’t hoping to replace Sessions because they’re dissatisfied with his job performance; they want him gone so that a new attorney general can take office, assume oversight of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation (which Sessions has recused himself from), and shield the White House from any further consequences.
In other words, this is the latest step in the campaign to obstruct the Russia scandal investigation, which the bulk of the Meadows/Jordan piece is devoted to criticizing.
For many GOP lawmakers, the campaign to protect Trump has effectively no limits.