It’ll be very strange when Sessions is named Time Person of the Year and becomes a media darling for refusing to buckle while his prosecutors went after the president and his allies.
His inevitable ResistanceBucks fundraiser on GoFundMe might reach a million dollars.
The president and his AG waging an endless war of words in public is just something that happens now in the year of our lord 2018. By 2022, when Sessions enters his fifth year on the job because Trump still hasn’t mustered the nerve to replace him, he’ll be issuing statements that read in their entirety, “Fire me, cuck.” Until then, here he is answering POTUS’s charge on Fox this morning that he never took control of the Justice Department:
Statement from the Attorney General pic.twitter.com/eMF0CPXLZZ
— Sarah Isgur Flores (@SarahFloresDOJ) August 23, 2018
This is why Trump should have named Rudy AG. He would have let himself be improperly influenced by political considerations.
There’s no way POTUS can replace Sessions anytime soon, right? He’s pals with all sorts of Republicans in the Senate, and the last thing McConnell’s crew needs is another confirmation fight anytime soon. Or is it?
Grassley’s ready! So is Grahamnesty, as you’ll see below. Senate Republicans have probably concluded that this hyper-toxic relationship between the chief executive and his top law-enforcement officer is so weird and embarrassing that the party’s better off ending it even if that means ushering their buddy Jeff into ignominious retirement. Graham thinks it’ll happen after the midterms, not before, which feels right. Confirming a new AG while Russiagate rages on would be almost as fraught as confirming a SCOTUS nominee. The sort of loyalist whom Trump craves in the job is precisely the sort of person whom Democrats and more than a few Republicans won’t tolerate, fearing that a crony will nuke Mueller and shut down the investigation. His best shot at getting someone through is in the lame-duck session. Isn’t it?
I don’t know. Flake and Corker will be in their final weeks as senators by then. Nothing’s stopping them from borking Trump’s nominee. And because the election will already have passed, red-state Democrats will no longer feel pressure to vote with the president. He’s better off waiting until next year, when the new Senate is seated, to float a new nominee — but of course that’s risky too. There’s at least a chance, if not a big one, that Chuck Schumer will be in charge in 2019. Until a few days ago, there was a solid argument that dumping Sessions *before* the midterms and leveraging the electoral pressure on red-state Dems to support his replacement was Trump’s best bet on getting a loyalist through. That’s dead and gone now, though, after the Cohen/Manafort double-whammy. Even a Joe Manchin or Heidi Heitkamp likely wouldn’t risk the left’s wrath by rubber-stamping a Chris-Christie-type at a moment when POTUS looks to be in greater legal jeopardy than he ever has been.
He’ll wait on Sessions until the election and then make a decision. If Republicans have gained Senate seats, he’ll fire him in January 2019 and let the new GOP majority weigh his replacement’s fate. If the Senate flips on Election Day, he and McConnell will do their best to convince Flake and Corker to play ball during the lame-duck session. Either way, Trump’s not going to get the sort of nominee in the role that he really wants.
Update: Good lord.
Scoop: Trump, who shies away confrontation, didn’t even mention the morning’s war of words when he met with Sessions at the White House this afternoon. “No acknowledgement. Not even a passing mention.” https://t.co/Ren9t9vKaP #axiospm
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) August 23, 2018