Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions terminated former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe. At the time of McCabe’s dismissal, it was said that Sessions had fired him for supposedly for displaying “a lack of candor” when dealing with an internal Justice Department probe.
But ABC News reported on Wednesday that a year before McCabe was fired, he had authorized the launch of a criminal investigation into whether Sessions himself lacked candor back when he testified before Congress during his confirmation hearing.
During the confirmation hearing, Sessions testified that he had not met with Russian officials. The Washington Post notoriously revealed in March 2017 that Jeff Sessions had in fact met with the Russian ambassador in 2016 — the Trump campaign era. The US Attorney General later recused himself from the Trump-Russia investigation, which proved a pivotal decision as that ultimately led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel.
This is why Donald Trump has been so testy with Sessions ever since. In a July interview with The New York Times, President Trump actually said that if he had known Jeff Sessions was going to recuse himself from the Russia investigation — he would not have hired him.
Actual quote from President Trump from that New York Times interview:
“Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the president,” he added. “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.”
It was at this point that it became clear President Trump was willing to terminate staff to mitigate fallout. Apparently, Sessions is following suit.