Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ action comes the same day White House press secretary Sean Spicer addressed the specter of a “deep state” of bureaucrats trying to harm President Donald Trump’s agenda.
Not since Nixon has the United States had a leader who believes so strongly that there is an orchestrated campaign to undermine his presidency. And the revelations over months about contacts between Russian officials and Trump advisers remind some of the slow beginnings of the Watergate scandal.
Rod Rosenstein, a top federal prosecutor nominated by President Trump to be deputy attorney general, testified that he was “not aware” of any reason he couldn’t oversee such a probe of Kremlin-led election interference.
Bannon, Miller, Sessions, and presumably the president himself understand very well that the travel ban aimed at Muslims and Islam must exacerbate divisions between the West and the Muslim world, as well as between Muslim-Americans and the rest of American society. Intensified conflict is the only foreseeable result of their actions and outbursts — and appears to be the only result they want.
Now that Sessions has stepped aside, Lawyers and Justice Department officials are poring through statutes and scratching their collective heads over who has authority to sign warrants for the FBI’s electronic surveillance of the Russians and Trump associates implicated in the probe.
For Joe Scarborough, the only thing more bizarre than Jeff Sessions’ press conference Thursday recusing himself from an ongoing White House investigation was its timing.
As most of the world knows by now, Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not tell the truth when he was asked during his confirmation hearings about contacts with Russian officials. But Sessions isn’t the only one.
The senators wrote a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, reminding him that President Donald Trump said on the campaign trail that the issue of legalization should be left up to states.
His diplomatic career has encompassed the Cold War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the inexorable-seeming rise of one Vladimir Putin. Now Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, finds himself in a harsh and unwanted spotlight over contacts with Donald Trump’s campaign team.
Certainly, we are in a hyper-partisan age. But does that mean partisans set aside every principle they ever held dear and watch democratic norms be destroyed just to protect a president from their party? Are institutional checks and balances meaningless?
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a brief Thursday press conference that he will recuse himself from “any investigation” that involves last year’s presidential campaigns, including the probe of Trump connections with Russia.
Obama White House officials reportedly pursued a deliberate strategy aimed at preserving evidence of Russian election meddling for investigators to ensure this type of interference was not repeated.
Last year, when he was still a Senator, Jeff Sessions met with the Russian ambassador — twice. But he failed to mention those meetings when questioned about Russia during his confirmation hearing.
After arguing for nearly six years that Texas’ voter ID law intentionally discriminated against minorities, the Department of Justice — now overseen by Jeff Sessions — has informed the other plaintiffs in the case it has abandoned that position.
Few would have predicted Donald Trump’s stellar relationship with far-right Christians. But now that he’s won them over, benefited from their political support, and amassed a White House featuring many evangelical conservatives, LGBT protections, abortion rights, and public school funding are on the line.
The new order reverses one issued by former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates that sought to eliminate the department’s use of private for-profit prisons, which hold slightly more than 10 percent of the current prison population. Civil rights and prisoner rights groups decried the Sessions’ decision, saying private prisons are not as cost-effective or as safe as government-run facilities.
In Danziger’s vision, Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is the kind of small-minded Southern politician who brandishes “state’s rights” as an excuse to bully unpopular minorities — in the latest instance, defenseless trans kids needing to use a bathroom.
In a sharp break with the Obama administration, which distanced itself from harsh anti-drug rhetoric and emphasized treatment for drug users over punishment, President Trump this week reverted to tough drug war oratory and backed it up with a series of executive orders he said were “designed to restore safety in America.”
There’s no question that the decision to silence Warren backfired — badly. The furor gained the Massachusetts senator far more attention than her otherwise routine speech would have if it hadn’t been interrupted. The result: The majority leader turned the confirmation vote on Sessions, a loss for the Democrats, into a vehicle they could use to rally their partisan base.
The February 12 edition marked Alec Baldwin’s record-breaking 17th appearance as SNL guest host. The actor showed up for the monologue as himself, although his Emmy-worthy portrayal of Trump does grace a later sketch, as the president attempts to defend his travel ban on The People’s Court (with a cameo by Beck Bennett as his “character witness” Putin).
It is frankly hard to get enough of Melissa McCarthy’s “Spicy,” the press secretary who performs a manic review of week three’s unfolding troubles, from the travel ban imposed on seven Muslim majority countries to Nordstrom’s rejection of the Ivanka fashion line.
If you measure President Donald Trump’s conflicts of interest by the amount of money at stake, or the variety of dicey interactions with government regulators, one dwarfs any other: his relationship with Deutsche Bank. The bank hoped to eliminate the president’s personal guarantee on loans. But such a move would not eliminate the conflict of interest, since the president’s company, which Trump still owns, would remain on the hook to pay back the loans.
Jeff Sessions who has served two decades in the Senate from Alabama, was confirmed by a 52-47 vote after strong pushback from Democrats concerned about his record on civil rights. In a rare move for a senator recently confirmed to a Cabinet position, Sessions took to the floor of the chamber and called for members of Congress to have some “latitude” in their relationships with members of the other party.
When Mitch McConnell tangled with Elizabeth Warren over the Sessions nomination on the Senate floor, Danziger was watching (and saw the majority leader get smoked).
Silenced on the Senate floor by Republican colleagues, Elizabeth Warren took her criticism of Trump’s attorney general nominee out to the hallway — and found much larger platform. The action prompted a tide of support on Facebook for Warren under a hashtag #LetLizSpeak after she went outside the chamber and read the letter in a video posted on the site that drew more than 5 million views.
The Minnesota senator slammed Republicans for attempting to recast their colleague as a voting rights champion. “I know Senator Sessions. We served together since I joined this body… and I know his record on voting rights,” Franken bellowed. “He’s no champion of voting rights.”