What will the firing of Jeff Sessions mean for the U.S.?
Anticipating the Democratic victory in the midterm elections, President Donald Trump requested the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in what many…
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Among surveys and national analyzes, many anticipated the Democratic victory in the House of Representatives that became a reality during the midterm elections.
Just one day before Election Day, President Donald Trump finally asked his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, to hand over his resignation letter.
From the first months of the Trump Administration, Sessions had become one of the president’s focuses of anger after recusing himself from the investigation for alleged collusion between the Trump Campaign and the Moscow government, leaving Trump unprotected before a scandal that would detract credibility from his victory of 2016.
"Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job, and I would have picked somebody else," the president said on July 2017, after the Washington Post published that Sessions had two meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kisliak during the campaign.
The then Attorney General had not made public his discussions with Kisliak during his confirmation hearing before the Senate. After recusing himself from the investigation, and after the firing of FBI Director James Comey by the president, the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, took the lead in the investigation and appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to direct the inquiries.
Since then, Trump has been increasingly frustrated with the possibility of the investigation leading him to testify before the FBI and has consistently blamed Sessions for his situation.
The Democratic Party, meanwhile, deployed a massive campaign to recover the majority in the House of Representatives and thus ensure that the investigation comes to fruition without presidential obstruction.
With their victory on Tuesday, Democrats now have the power to request even more assessments against the president, including his tax returns, his alleged collusion with Russia and his obstruction of justice by firing James Comey.
It’s not surprising, therefore, that Trump has decided to fire Sessions and find a person who can put limits on the scope of Mueller's work.
The president's intentions are so obvious, that Republican representatives such as Senator Susan Collins and newly elected Senator Mitt Romney have warned that "it is imperative that the Administration does not impede the Mueller investigation," the Guardian reported.
Specialists in constitutional law have declared to the media that Trump's decision may "set off a long-feared constitutional crisis over the fate of the inquiry, which followed a conclusion by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia intervened to help Trump win in 2016.”
This concern is exacerbated by the temporary replacement of Sessions by Matthew Whitaker, senior adviser to the Department of Justice who has been critical of Mueller's work, having even requested defunding and closing the whole investigation.
Whitaker wrote an Op-Ed for CNN on August 6, 2017, criticizing Mueller's intentions to investigate the finances of the Trump family, and assuring that, if the lawyer "expanded his scope" in the investigation, it would become "a witch hunt."
Laurence Tribe, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard University, told the Guardian that "Trump's replacement of Sessions with Whitaker was possibly a self-defeating offense."
"This rule of law crisis has been a slow-motion train wreck for a long time," he added.