Jeff Sessions’s reputation continues to ebb and flow. Democrats were staunchly opposed to his becoming US Attorney General for a laundry list of reasons including his positions on immigration. Sessions was denied an appointment as a federal judge in 1986 for having a history of making of racist comments — including calling the the NAACP and ACLU “un-American.” He had also repeatedly spoken out against the federal Voting Rights Act.
Democrats softened to Sessions a bit when he recused himself from supervising Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 president election. For having done so, Sessions has received repeated presidential insults and abuse. President Trump went so far as to tell the New York Times:
“Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think 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’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair — and that’s a mild word — to the president.”
The softening of public opinion — on the left — about the character of Jeff Sessions really boils down to a classic case of the enemy of one’s enemy being (be default) one’s friend. I’m not sure anyone who opposed Sessions grew fond of him, but Senate Democrats Senate Democrats proactively blocked President Trump from firing Jeff Sessions during the August 2017 recess, when rumors that Trump intended to do so were rampant.
But apparently the lukewarm acceptance Sessions received without having earned didn’t mean very much to him, as it’s being reported that he is pressuring the FBI to change its chain of command in a manner that could potentially affect special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
This is a particularly bad time for Sessions to make such a move, regardless of his reasoning. Just one week ago, he submitted to hours of questioning by Robert Mueller. It doesn’t look good to try and tinker with FBI’s top brass at the moment. We all know he Sessions’s recusal was a self-preservation move and his on-the-record testimony usually consists of a few dozens variants of “I can’t remember.”
Unless Jeff Sessions wants to move himself from the special counsel’s frying pan directly into fire, he just needs to file everything tertiary to the Russia investigation under ‘Things Rod Rosenstein Handles While I Have a Seat’.