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Home / US / Jeff Sessions is Trump's most effective cabinet member. He may fire him anyway.

Jeff Sessions is Trump's most effective cabinet member. He may fire him anyway.



WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump's campaign against the Mueller investigation seems to end more and more the term of office of a Cabinet member who has become the most effective member of the Trump administration despite the flood of attacks by his boss. 19659002] Prepared reports by reporters about the possible departure of Attorney General Jeff Sessions have been frozen for more than a year since the president began blaming sessions for turning his back on the Trump Russia investigation – one of many steps this led to special adviser Robert Mueller appointment. But in the midst of the extraordinary on-going showdown between the president and the nation's top law enforcement officer, the 84th Attorney General has actually implemented the Trump agenda.

Critics and advocates agree that sessions in just 1

8 months have transformed the Office of the President of Justice to reflect the priorities of the Trump administration. A draft of its DOJ master plan emphasized that national vulnerabilities must be breached by attacking the MS-13 gang and restoring the rule of law across the country. In the field of immigration, he has tightened criminal prosecution for illegal border crossings, enforced zero-tolerance policies that have led to family divisions, put pressure on immigration judges to speed up cases with new precedents and a quota system, and restricted asylum for domestic violence victims. He reiterated a "strong to crime" approach by reversing the changes imposed by the Obama era, opposing broader condemnation reforms supported by both parties and opposing attempts to reduce the DOJ's private prisons made. He had DOJ back from the investigation of the police practices. He is always praising Trump's agenda and he is not involved in any major ethics research.

There is only one important point: Sessions refusal to interfere in the ongoing criminal investigation into the Trump campaign, which the President repeatedly calls "witch-hunt".

Trump has made his frustration with sessions very clear because he has recovered from the investigation. The President's unprecedented public attacks on his attorney general – as "VERY weak, as traitors" – have become almost routine.

Sessions followers wish Trump could see his frustration with a man who was one of his first congressional supporters during the 2016 campaign and look at the broader work of the Attorney General.

"Jeff Sessions was probably the most effective attorney general in the eyes of law enforcement in the history of our country," said Jonathan Thompson, executive director of the National Sheriffs Association. "He has done a tremendous amount of work in a short time to strengthen the rule of law and address the things that are most important to us, such as high crime, violent crime, drug addiction and opioid dependence."

Thompson He said it was "disappointing" that Trump is so open-minded about the Attorney General who "does the best job in the Cabinet" from the point of view of the law enforcement authorities and, according to Thompson, enjoys their full confidence. When sessions are actually opened after the midterm elections, Thompson said it was the saddest day of his career.

Sessions & # 39; critics are, to their dismay, of the opinion that his tenure was remarkably efficient.

"There's no question that, despite the humiliation he has suffered from Trump, he has been able to do a lot of things to advance his anti-immigrant and anti-civil rights agenda, so perhaps he beats him ", said Vanita Gupta, who headed the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ during the Obama administration.

"He used to be in the Ministry of Justice so he knows where the levers are and sometimes feels like he has a checklist of everything the previous government has done to promote civil rights, which he calls a blueprint Gupta, who now heads the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said.

A flood of attacks by his boss: "The Attorney General has been changing over the past year and a half at the Ministry of Justice," said Ian Prior, who until recently was Speaker No. 2 for the "Sessions" Division

"This Attorney General was for a long time in an organization of 110,000 people – without many political candidates – and could change the direction of the ship completely.The entire department now focuses on things such as the reduction of violent crime, the enforcement of immigration laws, combating the opioid crisis and Protecting Religious Freedom and Freedom of Speech on Campus – Things That Are Really Not High on the List of the Obama Department of Justice "Prior said." I would say he was the most effective member of the President's Cabinet. "

Questions about the future of sessions really got worse last week after Trump appeared on "Fox & Friends" and said sessions had "never taken control," the Justice Department said. Sessions, which had usually quietly picked up the President's verbal abuse, fired back, saying he was in fact in control of the Department of Justice, and that the DOJ's actions were "not unduly influenced by political considerations" while he was Attorney General.

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Trump had revived the idea of ​​holding sessions in recent weeks. Politico said Wednesday that Trump hired the Republican senators against the Attorney General and that many were resigned to the idea that sessions would be over after the November elections.

Sessions and Trump are two septuagenarians who agree on most political issues. But their key split lies in one fundamental problem: the right relationship between the White House and the Department of Justice. Trump, the former reality TV star and businessman, thinks DOJ should bow to his will. Sessions, longing to speak of his days as a federal prosecutor in Alabama, respects the wall between the White House and the DOJ.

Sessions seems unwilling to appear in the history books as the equivalent of Robert Bork's 21st-century Advocate General, who executed the order of President Richard Nixon to dismiss the Attorney General of Watergate, Archibald Cox, after the Attorney General Elliot Richardson had protested and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus had been fired before he had the opportunity. (Current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has been regularly attacked by Trump's media ally and on Capitol Hill, although Trump's relations with him have reportedly improved.)

"Sessions seems to be an institutionist, as he is very worried He defends and defends the independence of the Ministry of Justice, but he also renounces some of the Justice Ministry 's law enforcement duties, especially in the field of civil rights, Gupta said

a dilemma for those of us who strongly believe in the rule of law but are so offended by the way sessions have been conducted by the Department of Justice "

Elise Foley contributed to this report.

Ryan Reilly is HuffPost's Senior Justice Reporter for the Department of Justice, the Federal Criminal Police, Criminal Justice and Legal Affairs. Drink a tip? Contact him at ryan.reilly@huffpost.com or at Signal 202-527-9261.


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