The One Thing Jeff Sessions Won’t Do For Donald Trump

It has become crystal clear that Jeff Sessions’ days as attorney general are about to come to an end. Last week, the Republican chair of the Judiciary Committee gave Trump the green light to do so after the midterm elections are over.

The red line that Senate Republicans drew last year against President Trump firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions is beginning to dissolve.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who oversees the committee that would advance the confirmation of Sessions’ replacement, said Thursday he’d have time to consider such a nomination, after last summer declaring his 2017 agenda too full to move such a confirmation.

“I do have time for hearings on nominees that the president might send up here that I didn’t have last year,” Grassley told Bloomberg.

Take a look at how Republican Senator Lindsey Graham changed his tune on Sessions.

But here’s the final nail in Sessions’ coffin.

Jerry Falwell Jr., a top conservative religious leader, said Monday he urged President Donald Trump to fire Jeff Sessions over his handling of investigations into Russian election meddling, saying the attorney general has lost evangelicals’ support.

“He really is not on the president’s team, never was,” Falwell, the president of Liberty University, said of Sessions. “He’s wanted to be attorney general for many, many years. I have a feeling he took a gamble and supported the president because he knew he would reward loyalty.”…

In forsaking Sessions, faith leaders are turning on one of their own, a man who for decades fought in the political trenches for conservative Christian causes…“There’s growing disillusionment in the conservative faith-based community” with Sessions, said Gary Bauer, president of American Values, an educational nonprofit group.

In Trumpworld, when you become a target of the court evangelicals, your days are numbered. They’re the ones who speak for the president’s most loyal base of supporters.

The truth is that, when it comes to Trump’s agenda, Jeff Sessions has been a veritable dream-come-true as attorney general. He’s been willing to gut the Obama Justice Department’s attempts to investigate police brutality, backed up the administrations xenophobic immigration policies, issued new guidelines for so-called “religious freedom,” defended Trump’s travel ban and recision of DACA, implemented attempts to purge voter rolls, and attempted to stop undocumented women in detention from getting abortions.

I doubt that any of these have posed a moral challenge for Sessions. There’s a reason why he was one of the fist elected officials to endorse Trump in the presidential primaries and eventually wound up on his campaign team. The two men share a revanchist world view about this country.

But there is one place where Jeff Sessions hasn’t been willing to do what Donald Trump wanted from him. He hasn’t been willing to reverse his recusal on the Trump-Russia investigation and stop the whole thing dead in its tracks. That is what the president wants from his attorney general and he’s going to throw Jeff Sessions under the bus to get it.

I’m not going to shed a tear when Sessions is removed from his current job and most likely rides off into the sunset of retirement (he is, after all, 72 years old). But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what Trump will be looking for in his next attorney general. He’s made it absolutely clear that he wants someone who will be willing to do the one thing for him that Sessions wouldn’t do…blatantly obstruct justice.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.