Donald Trump has publicly attacked, threatened, and belittled his own handpicked Attorney General Jeff Sessions at least a dozen times this year. Each time, Sessions has either kept quiet or responded in minimalist fashion, seemingly afraid to say what he really thought. But after Trump once again attacked Sessions, Sessions promptly came out swinging. It’s not difficult to figure out why.
Trump keeps attacking Jeff Sessions for two reasons. The first is Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation early on in the process, rather than retaining control of it so he could try to rig it in Trump’s favor. The second is that Trump keeps demanding that Sessions launch a fraudulent investigation into Hillary Clinton and other Democrats in order to satisfy Trump’s favorite phony conspiracy theories, but Sessions keeps refusing. This morning Fox News aired an interview in which Trump once again attacked Sessions for recusing himself.
Jeff Sessions finally decided to publicly stand up for himself, releasing a statement which included this line: “While I am Attorney General, the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.” Apparently Sessions only wants his DOJ to be improperly influenced by his own racist considerations, and not Trump’s own personal needs. But if you want to figure out why Sessions is finally coming out swinging at Trump for all to see, just look at the timing.
Donald Trump just suffered a series of bodyblows in the form of Paul Manafort’s conviction, Michael Cohen’s plea deal, David Pecker’s immunity deal, and Trump being named an unindicted co-conspirator. He’s near the end of his rope. Jeff Sessions appears to believe that he has nothing left to lose, and Trump is vulnerable anyway, so he might as well go on the attack. If this backfires and Trump does fire Sessions, you can bet he’ll immediately cut a plea deal against Trump. Sessions has proven that he only cares about saving himself, and that he’s extraordinarily vindictive – just like Trump.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report