At times like this, when I’m tempted to feel bad for Sessions, I remind myself that he did more than any other Republican incumbent to open the door to Trumpmania by endorsing POTUS over Cruz in the 2016 primaries. And then, like sunshine breaking through on a cloudy day, the temptation passes.
He’ll be gone from the DOJ within a year and out of politics when he could have stayed in the Senate and held his seat until he’s 100. That’s his payback.
As for Parscale, he should probably stay focused on not getting indicted. Although I suppose POTUS ending Russiagate would be one way to ensure that:
Time to fire Sessions
End the Mueller investigation
You can’t obstruct something that was phony against you
The IG report gives @realDonaldTrump the truth to end it all.
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) June 19, 2018
I haven’t heard something that incendiary about Russiagate from a Trump confidante since whenever Rudy Giuliani’s last interview was. What makes Parscale’s tweet interesting is that it’s hard to imagine him sending it without clearing it with POTUS first, knowing how much attention it would get. In which case, what’s Trump’s and Parscale’s game here? Jonah Goldberg wonders if maybe it’s a shiny object designed to distract the press, however briefly, from their child separation coverage.
I don’t know. There’s a cynical case to be made that Parscale’s right, that if Trump’s planning to drop the axe on Sessions and especially Mueller, it’s better done sooner than later. That’s because there’s a potential expiration date on treating Peter Strzok as the Mark Fuhrman of the Russiagate probe. That expiration date is the day the IG issues his report on that investigation. If — if — Michael Horowitz determines that there’s no evidence that Strzok’s political biases led him to behave corruptly in assisting Mueller, the case for declaring the whole matter hopelessly tainted by illicit partisan motives becomes harder to make to the public. Better to seize on the damning revelation about Strzok’s texts in the Emailgate report and shut down the whole thing now, before Horowitz does any more reporting on Strzok. If his Russiagate report ends up clearing Strzok, well, too late. Water under the bridge. The probe’s already over at that point.
I don’t think Trump would do that at this point, though. There’s too much at stake. His numbers are improving, he’s notched a political win with North Korea, he’s got the trade war he always wanted. Firing Sessions would be a big deal but wouldn’t derail his presidency. Firing Mueller might. Firing Mueller and wading into official DOJ business to end an investigation into him and his associates definitely would.
Parscale’s probably just blowing smoke. Which has been known to happen among Trump cronies, even on the most sensitive matters:
President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani said on Monday that he was actually just bluffing last week when he called for Justice Department leaders to suspend special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation within 24 hours.
“I didn’t think it would,” Giuliani told POLITICO with a laugh when asked about the Mueller inquiry’s still being very much an active investigation. “But I still think it should be.”…
“That’s what I’m supposed to do,” Giuliani explained on Monday. “What am I supposed to say? That they should investigate him forever? Sorry, I’m not a sucker.”
Maybe Parscale did something behind the scenes to displease Trump and this is his way of getting back in his good graces. Tweeting “fire Sessions” is MAGAworld’s equivalent of sending someone a dozen roses.
Speaking of which, let me blow your mind with this scenario. Sessions either gets fired or resigns before the end of the year, then turns around and declares he intends to challenge Doug Jones for his old Senate seat in 2020. Question: Does he win the GOP primary? Does it matter if his time at the DOJ ends with a resignation rather than a firing? Normally it’d be a no-brainer. Of course a well-known pol like Sessions would win his seat easily in a red state like Alabama, all else being equal. But not everything is equal this time. Trump hates him for failing to “protect” him from Russiagate and has made no secret of it. He’d want to punish Sessions for his “disloyalty,” which might mean recruiting a primary challenger for his Senate bid. We know from hard experience that Trump’s word isn’t law in Senate primaries in Alabama (otherwise Luther Strange would still be a senator rather than Jones) but so much animosity has been steered towards Sessions by Trump Nation, with Parscale’s tweet just the latest example, that it’s hard to imagine him winning votes from the president’s supporters. It’s an open question to me if he could win — especially if he ended up being fired by Trump.
Political junkies should start thinking about this. It’s a cinch that Sessions will leave the DOJ before 2020, as the president can’t remain at war with his AG indefinitely, and he’d obviously be a formidable challenger to the Democrat currently holding his seat. What happens if he runs?