Advertisement

Trump publicly humiliates Jeff Sessions, demands arbitrary prosecution of political opponents

The president escalates his war on the rule of law.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Alex Brandon
CREDIT: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Less than a week after President Trump declared war on the rule of law by launching highly unusual attacks against the country’s three top law enforcement officials during an interview with the New York Times, Trump took news shots at Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe in a series of tweets posted Tuesday morning.

On the heels of those attacks and amid reports that Trump is considering firing Sessions, the president’s latest incendiary tweets — which trash Sessions for not being hard enough on Hillary Clinton — seem intended to force his hand-picked attorney general to resign.

Trump began by asking why Sessions isn’t investigating the baseless notion that the Clinton campaign colluded with Ukraine — a claim Sean Hannity has been pushing on his Fox News show.

Within 10 minutes, Trump posted another tweet suggesting he doesn’t think Sessions is being hard enough on Clinton in general.

Because Sessions recused himself from the Russia probe after he misled senators during his confirmation hearing about whether he met with Russian officials, he is thus unable to protect Trump from the ongoing investigation. A new attorney general in Sessions’ role could make decisions that influence the ongoing probe, such as firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Advertisement

In the recent New York Times interview, Trump expressed frustration with the fact that Sessions has recused himself from the probe — saying that if he had known Sessions would render himself unable to protect him, Trump would have chosen someone else to be the attorney general.

On Tuesday morning, Trump made clear he wants the Department of Justice and FBI to launch new, arbitrary persecutions of his political opponent Hillary Clinton.

Former FBI Director James Comey closed an investigation into Clinton’s email practices more than a year ago. Trump abruptly fired Comey in May.

Trump also blasted the person who would oversee any new hypothetical Clinton investigation — Acting FBI Director McCabe — falsely asserting that McCabe’s wife, who ran unsuccessfully for a state Senate seat in Virginia, received money from Clinton.

Trump went on to praise White House adviser Jared Kushner’s closed-door, unsworn testimony on Monday, and indicated that despite evidence showing that his campaign was eager to collude with Russia, he still thinks the multiple Russian probes are nothing more than a “witch hunt.”

The White House has also been making a concerted effort to undercut the legitimacy of Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia by attempting to paint Mueller as a Democratic operative. White House officials have repeatedly highlighted that members of Mueller’s team have donated to Democratic candidates.

Advertisement

In reality, Mueller was appointed FBI Director by Republican President George W. Bush, and Trump has in fact given more money to Democrats than Mueller’s team combined.

Since firing him in May, Trump has also smeared former FBI Director James Comey as a liar and a leaker.

In this context, the message that emerges from Trump’s repeated attacks is clear — Trump will not tolerate law enforcement officials who refuse to do his bidding, are unable to protect him, or try to operate independently of his political prerogatives.