Updated: Nov 9, 2018
Jeff Sessions, former Attorney General, resigned today, under pressure from Donald Trump. Sessions was able to serve almost TWO years before becoming the latest casualty of a chaotic administration. Good for him.
Sessions' departure is not a huge surprise, as Sessions, over the last year or so, had fallen out of favor with President Trump. Things were different in 2016. Trump had only glowing praise for Sessions when nominating him for Attorney General, even amid criticism from many about Sessions' possible civil rights violations. Despite the opposition, Sessions was confirmed and things went pretty well for a few months.
Unfortunately, Sessions soon found himself at odds with the president when he recused himself from the Russia investigation. Trump's subsequent Twitter frenzy decried Sessions as "weak" and "beleaguered" (among other insults). The president even made it clear that he wouldn't have nominated Sessions if he had known that he would recuse himself. Trump even asked aides if he could fire the man. Anyone who paid attention to the news or Trump's Twitter rants could see that Sessions' time was drawing to an end. And so it has.
The question is: what will this mean for the Russia investigation and what will it mean for our republic?
Trump has announced that Matthew Whitaker, formerly the Chief of Staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is now the acting Attorney General. Whitaker appears to be the type of guy Trump adores- loyal and compliant. Whitaker has already criticized the Russia probe; It's likely that Trump is hoping that Whitaker will do his bidding, something that Sessions did not do.
It is unclear whether or not Trump realizes that one shouldn't run a country the way he would run a business. Cronyism and the constant search for sycophants to fill posts in his administration will only breed corruption, as it has already. At this point, Trump reminds me of a sort of mad king- raging at people on and offline, ousting employees who won't follow his every directive, actively trying to hinder an investigation of his misdeeds...
After hearing of Sessions' forced resignation, many (politicians, journalists, and others) have cried foul- saying that this is yet another example of how Trump is trying to serve his own interests. Although Trump has said, several times, that the Russia probe is only a witch hunt, it's interesting to note that his actions seem to denote that something is going on. Why else would he impede the investigation? Firing Sessions- ahem, asking him to resign- is only the latest in Trump's attempt to derail the inquiry.
For the past few years, I've waited with bated breath to see which of Trump's self-serving actions would finally cause his ouster. So far, he's escaped any repercussions, so much so that one might as well nickname him "Teflon Don," like John Gotti. Could forcing Sessions out finally cause some action to be taken against him or will we wait until he tries to fire Mueller? Or will it be something else? I'm not a fan of Jeff Sessions but it is apparent that Trump is trying to strategize his own protection.
The question is how far he'll get.