It is no secret that President Donald Trump’s White House has had a swift turnover rate. Since his election, the President’s administration has been plagued by the Washington establishment and the deep state fighting to subvert his populist reform agenda. Thus far, Attorney General and former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, one of Trump’s original picks, has survived.
Despite being able to hang on for so long, it is common knowledge that the President’s frustration toward Sessions is increasing. The Attorney General has been a consistent thorn in Trump’s side, opposing his boss’s agenda through repeated recusals, pushing unpopular policies, and the questionable enforcement of laws.
Sessions has been a government lawyer and career politician for most of his life, serving first in the federal justice system in Alabama, and then the US Senate. FOX host Lou Dobbs speculated last year that the deep state must have an “enormous file” on the Attorney General, a plausible explanation given his extensive career.
Indeed, despite his position of tremendous influence, Sessions has refused to prosecute Hillary, any member of her campaign or of the previous administration, or any deep state criminal. He has also been reluctant to comply with accountability requests on the DOJ from Congress and the President, something that Trump has also criticized him for.
Sessions’ troubles started very early with his recusal from overseeing the special counsel on alleged Russian collusion, which has since morphed into Robert Mueller’s intrusive fishing expedition disguised not-so-cleverly as an investigation. Now overseen by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the Mueller counsel has come up with little more than uncomfortable paradoxes, as most leads that seem to implicate Trump instead end up incriminating corrupt members of the Clinton campaign or Obama administration.
Trump has made it clear that if he had known Sessions would have recused himself, he would have picked someone else for the position from the outset. Sessions has thus, through this initial deception, directly enabled the deep state’s most brazen attempt at delegitimizing and subverting Trump’s presidency. And the Attorney General continues to stand up for his deep state masters, arguably showing them more loyalty than Trump. Recently, he stated that he would resign if Rosenstein were fired, despite the latter’s abysmal handling of the investigation.
Sessions is also working to subvert Trump in less obvious ways, such as through pressuring him to adopt unpopular policies that were never even part of the President’s platform. The best example is regarding marijuana, on which the Attorney General has consistently held a draconian position which does not respect states’ rights and is wildly unpopular with the American public. Fortunately, Trump has recently signaled a personal commitment to a states’ rights approach in a rebuke to Sessions’ power.
Immigration is the one issue where Sessions has been portrayed in lockstep with Trump. In an April 11 speech in Arizona, Sessions referred to the “Trump era” of immigration enforcement as a description of his own agenda and goals on the issue. Indeed, even Trump has been known to praise his language and work on occasion. Sessions has a reputation for being an immigration hawk for many decades.
However, the reality is that his immigration promises have not all been fulfilled despite the Attorney General’s words. Sessions’ Justice Department recently lost a third court case against sanctuary cities, preventing the federal government from having the ability to enforce immigration law on renegade leftist strongholds that release illegal aliens. Sanctuary cities have justifiably been a frequent target of Trump’s ire and of Sessions’ threats; yet, thus far, common-sense efforts to prevent sanctuary cities have stalled.
Equally worrying is the status of the illegal Obama-era DACA program. Having given Congress months to come up with a reasonable deal to protect so-called “Dreamers,” Trump finally tweeted that “DACA is dead” on April 1. Yet, the Washington Post has reported that over 138,000 renewal applications have been approved so far in fiscal year 2018, a disquieting fine print which adds to the uneasy picture of the apparent lack of action since Trump’s final declaration. In addition, lawless courts controlled by deep state judges have gone out of their jurisdiction to thwart the President’s election mandate and the enforcement of the law. In late April, a D.C. judge ruled that the administration must continue DACA and allow new applications, calling the decision to cease the arbitrary program “virtually unexplained.” With the growing possibility that the issue will have to be resolved at the Supreme Court, it is remarkable how often the head of the Justice Department has stepped up to the poker table with neither the cards nor the will to play. Sabotage is a likely possibility.
While many saw Sessions’ early support of Trump and supposed hard-line views on issues like immigration as signs that the President could expect in him a fellow anti-establishment, populist warrior, the reality has proven quite different. Sessions’ repeated recusals, obstructions, and failures call into question his true loyalty. The risk is becoming too great for Trump to keep expecting results which never come. The President has showed a great deal of patience, but that must change for the good of his ‘America First’ agenda. It is time for Trump to start searching for an Attorney General more willing to wholeheartedly pursue the America First agenda he was elected on and to aggressively deconstruct the deep state.