Last night, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions was caught having colluded with the Russian Ambassador during the election, we posited that he had three bad options: dig in his heels and become a hostile subject of investigation, resign from his job entirely, or recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation in the hope of fending off either of the first two options. Now Sessions has announced that he wants to find out what’s behind door number three.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he’s recusing himself from all aspects of the Trump-Russia investigation. This came after roughly twenty hours of public pressure from his former colleagues from both parties in the Senate and House. In so doing, Sessions appears to be gambling that recusing himself will be enough to A) convince Congress not to pursue him over his perjury, and B) take enough of the focus off himself so that he doesn’t have to resign his job entirely.
Considering the number of Republicans in the Senate who likely want to protect Jeff Sessions, who served there for decades before becoming Attorney General last month, this is probably enough to convince the Republican-controlled Senate not to pursue any legal punishment against him for perjury. However that doesn’t mean the FBI, or for that matter, Sessions’ own Department of Justice, will back off him. If Sessions proven guilty of having conspired to rig the election, he’ll likely either face criminal prosecution or he’ll have to flip on Trump to get leniency.
Whether or not Jeff Sessions ends up having to resign as Attorney General will largely come down to how much public pressure he continues to face in the coming days. But in any case, he’s officially announcing that he’s recusing himself. That means he’s no longer in a position to protect Donald Trump in the Russia scandal. And thus, with Flynn and now Sessions neutralized, another of Trump’s protective dominoes has fallen. Help us investigate Trump-Russia!
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report