Democrats Should Draw Up Impeachment Articles Against Jeff Sessions
As Donald Trump goes further and further off the rails, openly admitting obstruction of justice, retreating further into his predilection for authoritarianism, and showing real signs of cognitive breakdown, it is easy to ignore how those around him are also engaging in similar tactics. Yesterday, I wrote about Mike Pence’s complicity in Trump’s obstruction of justice. But Jeff Sessions is probably an even more egregious example.
At this point, although he won’t admit it, Sessions has unilaterally decided to un-recuse himself from the Russian investigation. He was in the meeting with Trump and Rosenstein where the firing of Comey was discussed. Rosenstein’s letter outlining the reasons for firing Comey was addressed to Sessions and then forwarded to the White House as the original rationale for Comey’s firing. Sessions, like Pence, also spouted the lie about Trump’s reason for firing Comey, knowing full well it was not true. And Sessions has said he will be involved in picking Comey’s successor. In addition, Rachel Maddow reported last night that Sessions has specifically refused to say whether he is recusing himself from the investigation of Paul Manafort.
This is not what anything like a recusal looks like. It is exactly what obstruction of justice looks like. In fact, it very much looks like Sessions has decided to openly ignore the ethics advice he did receive that forced him to supposedly recuse in the first place. He is now implicated in the obstruction of justice, as is his deputy, Rosenstein, who either wittingly or unwittingly, provided a rationale for obstructing justice at the direction of Sessions. At this point, much of the top DOJ leadership is tainted, and that’s being kind. And that’s on top of the fact that Sessions was caught lying to Congress about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Kislyak.
There are only two ways for Sessions to lose his job, assuming he won’t resign. First, Trump could fire him. That, of course, will not happen because Session’s primary job while AG is to keep a lid on the Russian scandal. The other option is for him to be impeached.
At this point, I think the Democrats should at least prepare impeachment articles against Session. It will ratchet up the pressure on the Russia investigation while not going after Trump directly at this time. The argument would be that, if the DOJ refuses to appoint an independent investigation, then some kind of independent authority is needed in the DOJ in order to actually determine what the Russians have actually done and whether there was actual collusion between Trump and the Russians. In addition, that investigation now needs to extend to whether Trump and members of his administration have engaged in an obstruction of justice. Sessions has shown he is incapable of allowing this independent investigation to go forward unimpeded in the DOJ while he is at its helm. He has shown that he will lie to Congress and will violate his pledge and the ethical requirements of his office to recuse himself in order to interfere in the Russian investigation. And that he is willing to engage other members of the DOJ in enabling the obstruction of justice.
Of course, this will never go anywhere in the Republican House right now. But it does force Republican representatives to publicly defend Session, especially if Democrats can force a vote. Unless and until the Republicans in Congress, the ultimate enablers of this cover-up, decide their job is in greater jeopardy that Trump’s and/or Sessions’, we all know nothing will be done. But that doesn’t mean Democrats should abdicate their constitutional responsibility but rather exert as much pressure as they can.
I’ve also written about this and other issues on my personal blog at [tidalsoundings.blogspot.com]