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  1. #1
    MW is offline
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    GOP senators: No Sessions replacement could get confirmed

    President Donald Trump firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions seems to be a red line for some in the GOP. | Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images


    GOP senators: No Sessions replacement could get confirmed

    The possible axing of Jeff Sessions is giving Republican senators a migraine.

    09/12/2018 07:11 PM EDT

    Senate Republicans are in a jam when it comes to Jeff Sessions.

    While resigned to President Donald Trump firing the attorney general after the midterm elections, they suspect that perhaps only a sitting senator could win confirmation as Sessions’ successor — that is, someone they could trust not to interfere with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. But no one from their ranks seems to want the job.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said any new nominee must pledge to protect the Mueller investigation, and that it would help if that person were “somebody from the body or someone who has had experience … or somebody you know personally, you know what you’re getting.” But he said it’s not going to be him, despite private belief among his colleagues he’s eyeing the job.
    “No. I like being a senator. There are plenty of more qualified people than me. Bunches of them, thousands,” Graham said Wednesday.

    Asked about Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, a fellow Senate lawyer who was considered as FBI director, Graham said: “He’d be great if he wanted to do it.”

    No dice, said Cornyn. “We already have an attorney general,” said Cornyn, who some colleagues think could be confirmed to succeed Sessions. “I love my job.”

    And Mike Lee (R-Utah), who some Republicans think might be interested in the job, is “very happy” in his current role as senator, a spokesman said.

    With few obvious potential applicants for a job that seems to come with built-in clashes with the president, some senators even suggest Trump might have to nominate a Democrat to have any hope of getting a new attorney general confirmed.

    “Trump may very well want a change,” said retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). “If I was the president, I’d even consider picking a Democrat if I thought I couldn’t get anybody else through.”

    The president, however, is looking for a staunch defender like Eric Holder was to Barack Obama, or a “guy looking out for his own interests,” said a Republican close to the White House. This person said that perhaps a senator could be persuaded to take the job, but was unsure anyone could meet Trump’s criteria of loyalty.

    “I’m not sure that there’s anybody in the Senate besides maybe Lindsey Graham that Trump would want and even Lindsey, he really likes Lindsey, but I don’t know if he trusts him,” this person said. “I don’t know that there’s anybody in the Senate he feels that way about or that they feel that way about him.”

    One Republican senator said a senator nominated as attorney general would have to have a squeaky clean record of praise for Trump and estimated that perhaps only four members of the Senate would qualify, calling it a “pretty small universe” of candidates.

    The problem is acute enough that Republicans are pessimistic about a confirmation in the lame duck, when there will be little political imperative for red-state Democrats to go along with a new attorney general. And if Republicans lose the Senate majority, an attorney general confirmation becomes even more difficult, if not impossible.

    It’s a problem compounded by the fact that some Republican senators, like Ben Sasse of Nebraska, have already said it would be “really difficult” for them to support a successor should Trump fire Sessions. Asked this month whether he was confident he could confirm a Sessions successor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell instead defended the attorney general and said he hopes he sticks around.

    “Assuming that the Democrats voted together against the nominee, I think you would have some Republicans who may well vote against the new nomination,” said Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.).

    The most optimistic Republicans say that the cloud may lift after the election, especially if Mueller’s investigation concludes. Many Republicans are worried about the politics of confirming a new attorney general amid the sensitive probe.

    One out could be if Sessions leaves his job voluntarily. Firing Sessions seems to be a red line for some in the GOP.

    Sasse “finds it difficult to envision a circumstance where he would confirm a successor to Attorney General Sessions if he is fired for faithfully executing his job. Attorney General Sessions has allowed Mr. Mueller to do his work, and Sen. Sasse believes that’s the way it should be,” said James Wegmann, a Sasse spokesman.

    The problem for the White House extends beyond filling the top job at the Justice Department. Trump has for months been mulling the prospect of replacing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who is now expected to be dismissed or to resign after the midterm elections, too. Once enamored of the retired Marine general and his nickname, “Mad Dog,” the president bragged to donors, “The guy never loses a battle, never loses.” But Trump has slowly come to realize that Mattis’ political views are more moderate than his sobriquet suggests, and the president has taken to referring to him behind closed doors as “Moderate Dog.”

    The White House’s short-list of prospective replacements for Mattis includes two Republican senators who have signaled they aren’t interested in the job, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Graham, both of whom are up for re-election in 2020, according to people familiar with the matter. And Cotton has already announced his campaign for reelection.

    Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), the newly installed Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, said he’s advocating for Mattis to stay and that whether he stays may “depend on whether I have anything or not to say about it.”

    “He does a great job,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.). Mattis should “absolutely” stay on, he said.

    Already the Environmental Protection Agency administrator job is vacant and filled by an acting leader, in part because the Senate GOP is not confident it can confirm a successor. Two more vacancies after the election in critical positions would be an unwelcome development unless Republicans find a way to expand their majority this fall.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    It's such a sad situation, all the way around. We love Jeff Sessions because he's such a strong advocate for our cause to stop illegal immigration, even though in the Senate, there were no laws passed to help US do that. The role of stopping illegal immigration doesn't even fall within the scope of the Attorney General or DOJ to begin with. Their only role in it is one they can't perform effectively and that's issuing the deportation orders, which before 9/11, the old INS which is now in DHS did themselves and did so very efficiently. That was a terrible mistake by the US Congress during the Bush Administration. DUMB!!

    The problem between Trump and Sessions has nothing to do with immigration, it has to do with civil rights, foreign affairs and national security. A terrible problem for this President to deal with and a dangerous situation for our country. Trump thinks Sessions is to blame for that because of his recusal before he even knew any facts of the case, before he even investigated for himself, the cause or need for a recusal, of which there was none, because there was no crime to investigate. If there is no crime to investigate, then there is no reason for an investigation, and thus no need to recuse from a non-investigation of a non-crime. STUPID!!

    It's perfectly understandable why Trump is furious over this and it has nothing to do to with himself. Trump didn't break any laws or commit "collusion". Neither did anyone else. The whole thing is a Russia Hoax!! A fraud, a scam, a sedition. It's the responsibility of the Attorney General to shut down frauds in his department, shut down scams in his department, shut down sedition by his department. Where's Jeff? Oh, Jeff's on a bench in the locker room.
    Last edited by Judy; 09-12-2018 at 10:34 PM.
    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
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