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Last week, Jeff Sessions resigned as attorney general.

He left the Department of Justice (DoJ) on Wednesday, November 7, 2018.

Asking Sessions to resign was President Trump’s first action after the mid-terms on November 6.

Finally!

Now, maybe, justice can be done!

The acting attorney general (AG) was formerly Sessions’s chief of staff. His name is Matt Whitaker.

Trump was clever and did not promote Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general, to the post. Because Sessions had recused himself, Rosey had been overseeing the Mueller probe. Now that Whitaker has been given the responsibility of overseeing Mueller, the Left — Democrats and the media — have said that the United States is experiencing a ‘constitutional crisis’.

Fox News’s Howard Kurtz explains why (emphases mine):

Whitaker is a former prosecutor, as well as a conservative activist, but he is obscure. He is a Trump loyalist, once described as the president’s “eyes and ears” at DOJ.

What’s more, as a CNN contributor and at other times, he has trashed the Mueller investigation that he will now be overseeing. He’s suggesting that Justice could curtail the special counsel’s probe by cutting his funding.

“The truth is there was no collusion with the Russians and the Trump campaign,” Whitaker once said. As for the left, “the last thing they want right now is for the truth to come out, and for the fact that there’s not a single piece of evidence that demonstrates that the Trump campaign had any illegal or any improper relationships with the Russians. It’s that simple.”

So Whitaker has, to put it mildly, a rather dim view of the investigation. And his associates are telling reporters he has no intention of recusing himself. Of course not — that’s why Trump wants him.

So it’s a big deal that oversight of the Russia probe is moving from Rosenstein, who likes the job Mueller is doing, to a man who’s been so critical of the investigation. And criticism from House Democrats who’ll soon be in a position to scrutinize these matters is fueling the story.

Rumour has it that Robert Mueller might be wrapping up his investigation soon, possibly next week. If true, whether that is related to Sessions’s resignation is unclear.

As acting AG, Whitaker can stay in that position for up to 210 days. Whitaker was appointed to his former chief of staff role in 2017, therefore, he requires no Senate confirmation.

Whitaker quickly protected his Twitter account, which was all about sports, although you can see a photo of him lifting weights. He’s no pencil-necked geek. He’s a big man with a shaved head (similar to Mr Clean). One of Whitaker’s tweets featured a similar photo with the caption:

What I do in my free time. #powerclean #CrossFit…

VA Online News has an interesting article about Whitaker and how he got the AAG job. The article purports that White House aides thought Rod Rosenstein’s resignation was imminent, so they went about finding a replacement:

Convinced that the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, was ready to resign after the revelation that he suggested President Trump was unfit for the job, senior White House aides got to work last weekend installing a replacement.

Whitaker received a phone call on Saturday, November 3:

Matthew G. Whitaker, the chief of staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, would become the acting No. 2 official at the Justice Department, his White House counterpart, John F. Kelly, told him over the phone on Saturday morning, according to two people briefed on the call. To the White House, he was an obvious choice: a confident former college football player and United States attorney whom Mr. Kelly has privately described as the West Wing’s “eyes and ears” in a department the president has long considered at war with him.

By Monday, Rosenstein had decided to stay at the DoJ for the time being, therefore, Whitaker could not be moved into his slot.

Interestingly, had Whitaker become DAG, replacing Rosenstein, he would not have been able to supervise the Mueller probe:

thanks to complex department rules, Mr. Whitaker would not assume control of the inquiry if he ever replaces Mr. Rosenstein.

Some think that Whitaker could become the permanent AG if he performs well as AAG. Even if he doesn’t, there are other roles open to him:

Administration officials have also mentioned Mr. Whitaker as a possible successor to Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel who plans to leave in the fall.

Justice Department and White House spokespeople declined to comment. The back-and-forth between the White House and Justice Department were described by more than a half-dozen administration officials and others briefed on the discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal conversations.

President Trump is said to have an easy rapport with Whitaker, who disapproves of Mueller potentially probing the Trump family finances.

In 2016, he was critical of Hillary Clinton’s server situation:

A reasonable prosecutor may ask, if on numerous occasions, an unknown State Department employee had taken top secret information from a secured system, emailed that information on a Gmail account, and stored the information on a personal server for years, would that individual be prosecuted? I believe they would.

Eighteen US AGs have demanded that Whitaker recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller probe. On Friday, November 9, Fox News reported:

More than a dozen U.S. state attorneys general signed a document Thursday calling for Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation, a role he assumed following his temporary appointment following the resignation of Jeff Sessions …

As part of Whitaker’s new role as the head official at the Justice Department, he will oversee the Russia probe and the agency’s other federal investigations, including the New York prosecutors’ look into the finances of Trump and his former aides.

In an op-ed Whitaker wrote last year, he argued that “any investigation into President Trump’s finances or the finances of his family would require Mueller to return to Rod Rosenstein for additional authority under Mueller’s appointment as special counsel.”

“It is time for Rosenstein … to order Mueller to limit the scope of his investigation to the four corners of the order appointing him special counsel,” Whitaker wrote. “If he doesn’t, then Mueller’s investigation will eventually start to look like a political fishing expedition. This would not only be out of character for a respected figure like Mueller, but also could be damaging to the President of the United States and his family — and by extension, to the country.”

And separately, in July 2017, Whitaker told CNN, “I could see a scenario where Jeff Sessions is replaced with a recess appointment, and that attorney general doesn’t fire Bob Mueller, but he just reduces his budget to so low that his investigation grinds to almost a halt.”

Whitaker is adamant about refusing to recuse.

The Left — Democrats and the media — are in a right tizz at the moment.

Whitaker’s DoJ could look at all types of left-wing scandals from the past several years.

He could get a lot done in 210 days, especially as he has the little-known but brilliant Ezra Cohen-Watnick, 32, working at the DoJ. Cohen-Watnick formerly worked for HR McMaster, who fired him from the National Security Council. Trump fired McMaster earlier this year.

Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner think highly of Cohen-Watnick, who has an intelligence background. In April 2018, Trump personally told the DoJ he wanted Cohen-Watnick to work with Jeff Sessions. That did not sit well with the Left, either, because it was rumoured he had shown Rep. Devin Nunes classified documents relating to Nunes’s FISA investigation of the 2016 election.

With Whitaker and Cohen-Watnick working together, who knows what the near future might hold? We could well see some sunlight disinfecting the Swamp. 

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Did the American media celebrate Labor Day — Monday, September 3 — by revealing the positive news about the economy this year?

Probably not.

However, they did latch on to two Trump tweets:

Did the Mockingbird sing? Click on the QAnon.app link to enlarge:

Q posted the image, made by a QAnon follower, in message 2073 of September 3.

President Trump’s tweet refers to Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-California) and Rep. Chris Collins (R-New York).

It is a strange thing that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, even indirectly, would take action against two fellow Republicans when mid-term elections are only weeks away.

As Trump points out, it’s too late now for other Republicans to replace them. As Duncan Hunter’s Republican primary rival Bill Wells told NPR on August 23 (emphases mine):

my main concern was that we would end up with a Democrat representative in this very conservative district, and I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen. So I ran hoping that if an indictment came, it would come during the primary, but it didn’t. And I was narrowly edged out of the second-place spot. So I couldn’t be on the ballot now even if I wanted to be.

That means only one thing: this will probably open the door to two Democrat wins.

Although CBS News reported that Chris Collins is in a good position to win re-election since other candidates in recent history have run while being under indictment, nearly all were either convicted, pressured to withdraw/resign or expelled from office.

The question remains: whose side is Jeff Sessions on?

Trump is right. The Left will adopt Sessions as one of their own now.

For weeks now, President Trump has been saying that he might have to get involved in exposing the scandals engulfing the DOJ and the FBI.

This is likely to be done by declassifying documents about the FBI and DOJ.

Reports allege that his White House legal counsel, Don McGahn, has opposed this move. Lee Smith, an investigative journalist writing for Real Clear Investigations, wrote an interesting article, ‘There’s Method in Trump’s Slackness on Opening Files’, excerpted below:

One prominent theory holds that Trump is listening to White House legal counsel Donald McGahn, who is reportedly advising caution. Trump allies are split about the wisdom of such advice. One former administration official described McGahn as “weak,” but another said McGahn’s counsel is wise.

“McGahn is worried about the fallout that declassifying those documents might create,” one former senior White House official told RCI. “He is concerned that Mueller might respond with an obstruction charge.”

Given recent reports that McGahn spent 30 hours speaking with Mueller’s team, he almost certainly has an intimate understanding of its strategy. McGahn could not be reached for comment.

Lee Smith wonders if Trump will declassify now that McGahn is leaving …

… news that Trump announced by tweet on August 29:

Axios, in a scoop, reports that their sources say Trump has no immediate successor in mind.

Those sources say that McGahn would like:

his successor to be Emmet Flood, a Clinton administration alumnus who joined the White House in May to deal with the Russia probe.

Hmm.

That said, Axios points out that Flood also served in Bush II’s administration.

It would appear that Flood is well respected in the White House and recognises the danger of special investigations (emphases in the original):

A source familiar with Flood’s thinking said: “The reason he can represent both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump is because he thinks these investigators come and basically put a target on their backs, trying to overturn every aspect of their lives searching for a crime.”

  • “He feels that is a judicial and constitutional hazard.”

Although Trump has allegedly ‘torn shreds off of McGahn’:

McGahn has told a confidant that he doesn’t expect to leave Trumpworld entirely after he leaves the White House. He privately said he expects to continue to be of assistance to the president through the re-election campaign.

The weeks leading up to mid-term elections could be most interesting.

Previously hidden information could well become available to the public.

It is time for someone to finally throw light on the corrupt DOJ, led by Jeff Sessions, and the equally corrupt FBI, headed by Christopher Wray. In hindsight, both men have turned out to be poor choices.

As the late Justice Brandeis once said, ‘Sunlight is the best disinfectant’.

President Donald Trump’s on a roll.

He’s landed some hard punches via Twitter this past week.

On John Brennan

On security clearance

On Robert Mueller’s investigation

On Jeff Sessions’s corrupt Department of Justice

To Jeff Sessions

Once the United States gets a new, proactive, hard-hitting attorney general, expect all of the above — and more — to be investigated.

This week has seen more online political bloggers say that America’s attorney general Jeff Sessions must go.

President Trump has been weighing in over the past week or so with decidedly pointed tweets. Sessions supporters say that Trump really hasn’t meant what he’s tweeted, but, now, even they have had to re-examine those opinions.

Unfortunately, personal time restrictions do not permit me to fully examine Trump’s most recent tweets. Here, Trump quoted Gregg Jarrett who was discussing DOJ employee Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie, both of whom have been linked with the Russian dossier designed to bring down the American president:

The Trumpet, which has been saying for months that Sessions must go, repeated that call on August 16 (emphases mine below):

“…because the DOJ is run by BLANK Jeff Sessions.” Jeff Sessions should have stopped this at least a year ago. Jeff Sessions must resign …

What is that landscape we painted a long time ago? Back during the primary campaigns for president in 2015-2016 we wrote that American voters found themselves in a snake pit and would take any stick offered to them to fight off the vipers. That stick was candidate Donald J. Trump. Trump was a man who never before held or ran for any elective office nor was he an Eisenhower type who served in the military as a five star General. Trump was Trump, told it like it is, and he won the election.

As candidate Trump grew in strength a vast conspiracy emerged from the intelligence agencies here and abroad to prevent candidate Trump from becoming President Trump. The intelligence agencies, law enforcement departments, Big Media, the totalitarian left of Obama Dimocrats alongside Republican Party bureaucrats and officials who lost power, scoundrels from every corner of filth conspired to destroy President Donald J. Trump and his voters and vision. After the election of Trump the conspiracy against President Trump persisted in trying to remove him from office and negate the will of the American voter.

That’s the landscape we painted a long time ago. The details, shocking and disgusting as they are, are details. We now have emails and documents. We now have names of miscreants and criminals. But they are mere details.

The details don’t matter if actions is not taken to behead the conspirators.

The details don’t matter if Jeff Sessions remains Attorney General. Jeff Sessions must be forced to resign.

Jeff Sessions might appear to the naive as if he is doing something useful, but, when one compares actions to words, one is left with words.

Take the recent sentencing for Imran Awan who, for several years, managed the computer system for various Democrat legislators, principally Rep. Deborah Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida). Author Frank Miniter, who is writing a book about the Awan case, which could well have national security implications, wrote about the sentencing for Fox News on August 21:

Tuesday was a lucky day for Imran Awan, the former IT administrator for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. A federal judge sentenced him to three months of supervised release and no fine for one count of bank fraud – sparing him any jail time.

Awan could have faced much more serious charges and a long prison sentence if he had been tried and convicted on accusations that he ran a spy ring inside Congress and stole congressional computer equipment.   

Yet stunningly, Awan was not charged with those crimes. Instead, federal prosecutors ignored their own compelling evidence implicating him in the spy ring and exonerated him.

This is what happens when the establishment and the mainstream media collude to cover up a Democratic scandal.

Awan, who pleaded guilty last month to a single charge of making a false statement to obtain a home equity loan, could have been sentenced to up to six months in jail on that plea at his sentencing Tuesday.

Just read the FBI affidavit used to indict Awan and you’ll plainly see that even a prosecutor working on his or her first case wouldn’t have had any trouble getting a conviction for bank fraud against him.

However, the Justice Department opted to plea the charges against Awan down to one count of making a false statement on a home equity loan application – a crime that that allowed Awan to wire $283,000 to Pakistan.

In return for that sweetheart plea deal, the Justice Department got a cover-up.

Where was Jeff Sessions?

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, August 21, Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen and his former campaign manager Paul Manafort have been in court for tenuous reasons. With regard to Cohen and the Southern District of New York (SDNY), The Conservative Treehouse tells us:

The Michael Cohen plea agreement (full pdf here) is a total of eight counts claimed by the SDNY as unlawful activityHowever, one count is entirely political and not supported by the Federal Election CommissionGuess which one the media focus on?

Yeah, let’s review.

Within the plea agreement the first five charges relate to tax avoidance, or tax evasion.  Each count relates to a specific tax year: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.  The sixth charge, a bank fraud charge, relates to lying on a credit application.  These six charges appear valid, documented and agreed in the plea. The seventh charge, relates to structuring financial transactions through the use of a corporation. This charge is tenuous, but arguable.

However, the eighth charge is the one the media are focused on.  The charge of an illegal campaign contribution …

This Count Eight transaction surrounds a payment to Stephanie Clifford (Stormy Daniels) of $130,000 for a nuisance claim.  Who says it is a campaign contribution?  The SDNY does, no-one else.  Not even the FEC considers this a campaign contribution.

Count eight is a political charge/plea specifically included for the purpose of pulling Donald Trump into the SDNY Cohen case. There is no FEC violation here.  *Note it is not the Federal Election Commission making the claim, only the SDNY prosecutors.

Where was Jeff Sessions?

As Sundance of The Conservative Treehouse tweeted:

Also on that day, Paul Manafort’s jury in Virginia delivered a guilty verdict on eight out of 18 charges, none of which concern President Trump’s presidential campaign. These charges were brought by Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion team. From The Conservative Treehouse:

According to breaking news in the Manafort Trial, after four days of deliberations the jury has informed Judge Ellis they can only reach a verdict on eight out of eighteen counts.

The jury cannot come to a consensus on 10 counts.

A guilty verdict on five counts of fraudulent tax filings. One count for each tax filing year: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014.

Three guilty verdicts on bank fraud charges: ¹False information on a $3.4 million dollar loan application in March 2016 from Citizens Bank, Rhode Island. ²False information on a $5.5 million loan application for a building in Brooklyn. ³Hiding foreign bank accounts.

Judge Ellis declared a mistrial on the remaining 10 charges.

Now it’s up to Mueller’s team to decide what to do about said remaining 10 charges.

Where was Jeff Sessions?

To my overseas readers, the following tweet is a joke but summarises the reality of the situation:

Going back to the Cohen case:

Conclusion:

Ultimately:

I pray that Sessions, a God-fearing man, asks for divine guidance in the days and weeks to come.

I hope that he takes the right decision and resigns, as he has not served the United States well during the past year and a half.

A few days ago, thanks to a reader of The Conservative Treehouse I discovered a new Twitter account, that of Jeff Vogel, a retired senior Special Agent for the Department of Justice.

He has fascinating insights, shared below.

First, a bit about Jeff Vogel, on the cusp of his sixth decade, a New Yorker who worked for the Office of Personal Responsibility and the Office of the Inspector General:

He says that Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report will be released on Monday, May 28, 2018. Interesting that it would be released on Memorial Day, but we shall see:

Vogel has interesting takes on various White House goings on.

He has noted that General John Kelly isn’t around much:

Yesterday, it emerged that Kelly will convene a meeting of various parties to review previously requested classified information:

Vogel has also observed that Rudolph Giuliani, once thought to be a possible AG candidate during the 2016 transition, made fewer television appearances earlier this year:

Then, all became clear:

Yes, Giuliani has joined the president’s personal legal team and is once again giving television interviews.

Vogel has advice for President Trump:

He has a lot to say about Jeff Sessions, and I mention this specifically in reply to Dr Gregory Jackson, a longtime supporter of my blog, who said that my Friday post about Sessions being removed or resigning was (emphasis in the original):

either misdirection or misinformed.

Well, I am glad he liked the post, anyway. I very much appreciate his continued support.

I’m not here to misdirect or misinform anyone.

Fox’s Judge Jeanine Pirro said on Saturday, May 19, that, right now, Jeff Sessions is the ‘most dangerous man in America’. I believe he is.

Vogel also had much to say about Sessions.

A month ago, he was a bit more positive:

Yes, well, every now and then Sleepy wakes to deliver a soundbite then resumes his typical torpor.

By mid-May, Vogel was finished giving the AG the benefit of the doubt.

He commented on the fact that the DOJ was not co-operating with congressmen Devin Nunes and Trey Gowdy in their requests for information on the 2016 surveillance of the Trump campaign:

The last sentence of the first tweet below spells out the beginning of the end for Sessions:

How can people defend Sessions when he seemingly refuses to look into Swamp creatures — and even his own department? There’s so much to investigate and so little time.

The graphic below has a typo. It should be ‘Robby Mook’ (Hillary’s campaign manager) not ‘Robby Moot’. That said, the point still stands — and it’s a powerful one:

I couldn’t agree more.

This poll is tantalising; it’s still open as I write:

Someone responding asked if he could vote for both options. Ideally, both should happen.

In closing, the next few tweets are what got me reading Jeff Vogel’s account. These are addressed to President Trump:

Hmm. Look at the addresses he included in the tweet: family and the White House communications team.

If true, it seems as if Jeff Vogel already knows who the person is. Hmm.

Trump ‘trusts this person the most’, so it must be someone very close to him.

I rather wish the president would call Jeff Vogel for an interview and, if successful, hire him.

These tweets are absolutely fascinating, especially as Vogel lives in New York. He must know a lot.

I did as much of a search on him as I could gratis. The search description I found gave more information than clicking on his name at the link did. That scant information appears to lend support to his work experience.

For now, it seems Mr Vogel is legit. I shall check his tweets now and again with interest.

The American public’s patience with Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is wearing thin.

Unlike some Trump supporters, I and many others see no sunny side to his being attorney general (AG) any longer.

For background material see my tag Jeff Sessions, including George True’s guest posts:

Guest post: a reader’s perspective on the Deep State and Mueller investigation (April 15, George True)

Guest post: a reader’s perspective on Jeff Sessions’s priorities (George True, April 20 and Rosenstein’s presidential cufflinks)

Guest post: what to make of Jeff Sessions, the DOJ and upcoming IG report? (May 17)

Politically blind Sessions supporters say that he would not be there if President Trump did not want him to be.

WRONG!

The Senate told Trump last year that a) they would not appoint another AG and b) they would not go into recess for the specific purpose of preventing Trump from appointing a replacement.

A lot of these same people said that HR McMaster was doing a wonderful job, too. For months on end, I read — paraphrased — ‘HR McMaster wouldn’t be there if the President didn’t want him to be’.

FALSE!

It took a while for Trump to sack McMaster, but once Trump built up a head of steam about the three-star general, that was it.

I have just completed a five-part series for Orphans of Liberty called the McMaster Chronicles. I would strongly suggest that Sessions fans read the series, which will take a while:

Trump’s reshuffle: the McMaster Chronicles — Part 1

Trump’s reshuffle: the McMaster Chronicles — Part 2

Trump’s reshuffle: the McMaster Chronicles — Part 3

Trump’s reshuffle: the McMaster Chronicles — Part 4

Trump’s reshuffle: the McMaster Chronicles — Part 5 (the end)

HR McMaster was a globalist from the start. He refused to call out Islamicist terrorism because, to him, religious people do not commit it. He tried to get President Trump not to use the term but failed. He renewed chief unmasker Susan Rice’s security clearance. He sacked Trump loyalists. He told a security conference in Berlin that there was Russian collusion.

That last point was the straw that broke the camel’s back. For months, I had been hoping McMaster would go, and, suddenly, all because of the brief mention of Russian interference in Berlin, that was it. Trump was furious.

And, no, McMaster did not resign. Trump arranged for John Bolton to replace him and then gave McMaster the news.

Trump also purposely used mainstream media reports as a rationale to replace McMaster. Those reports included the same ‘anonymous sources’ that McMaster and Sessions supporters so loathe.

I’m very sorry about McMaster’s father’s recent death (covered in Part 5), but the general was not the right person for the job.

The McMaster Chronicles illustrate what is highly likely to happen to Jeff Sessions.

And now, Joe diGenova, an attorney close to President Trump, says that Sessions’s days are numbered.

PJ Media has the May 16 story, excerpted below (emphases mine):

Attorney Joe diGenova predicted that both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ days are numbered at the Department of Justice during a telephone interview with Newsmax’s Howie Carr Wednesday. DiGenova’s claim came after the New York Times published a report titled “Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation”. The report has been interpreted by many as an attempt by sources within the “Deep State” to cushion the blow of the imminent DOJ inspector general report, which is expected to be explosive.

In March, President Trump considered adding diGenova and his wife Victoria Toensing to his legal team, but conflicts of interest reportedly prevented him from hiring them. The attorney is still in contact with Trump, and told Carr that “the president has had it up to his scuppers with these clowns.”

Like a number of other concerned Trump supporters, diGenova is certain that a coup d’état has been underway for some time:

DiGenova explained that the whole point of the Comey/Clapper/Brennan operation was to ruin Trump’s presidential bid and if that failed, to ruin his presidency. He expressed frustration that Sessions has been unable to see through what he called “a coup d’etat.”

“If he can’t see that, he’s not competent to be attorney general!” he exclaimed. He hasn’t recused himself from understanding that a presidency is being assaulted illegitimately by Mueller and by current and former people in the FBI and the intelligence community.”

DiGenova warned that Sessions is on thin ice with the president and his days may be numbered. “If it comes out that Jeff Sessions has not authorized a grand jury into all those unmaskings, all those leaks, … and Ben Rhodes and John Brennan and James Clapper have not been authorized for subpoenas, … if he has not authorized that, he’s going to be fired,” he predicted.

The reason he knew that, DiGenova said, was that both Rosenstein and Sessions had been to the White House twice in the past two weeks to meet with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, and they were told their jobs were “not secure.”

The president has had it up to his scuppers with these clowns and he has every right in the world to be furious with the incompetence of the Department of Justice under Rosenstein and Sessions,” diGenova explained, adding, “I have been told that by people who know.”

Under the current circumstances, Sessions could be replaced in one of two ways. Trump could make it so uncomfortable for him to remain as AG that he resigns. Alternatively, Trump could make a lateral move by sacking Sessions and putting the current EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) head Scott Pruitt into that position.

Vox, not a pro-Trump site by any means, had an article about the latter possibility on April 6. Excerpts follow:

The background is that Trump has been positively furious with Sessions since he recused himself from handling the Russia investigation in March 2017. The probe has since been overseen by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Robert Mueller to take charge of it in May …

But Sessions hasn’t taken the bait and has defiantly refused to quit …

Yet there is one alternative here — albeit a legally dubious and sure-to-be-controversial one. In his administration, Trump has frequently used a law called the Federal Vacancies Reform Act to circumvent the usual line of succession in agencies. The law allows the president to temporarily fill an agency vacancy so long as the new appointee was already confirmed by the Senate for a different position.

This is how Trump put Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney in charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and put a Defense Department official in charge of the Department of Veterans Affairs. (There is some legal ambiguity about whether Trump even can use the Vacancies Act to replace someone he fired rather than someone who resigned, but Trump decided to try to use it to replace fired VA Secretary David Shulkin anyway.)

Now, an appointment under the Vacancies Reform Act would be temporary — the appointee can only serve for 210 days. But a whole lot can happen in 210 days, at what seems to be a crucial period for Mueller’s investigation.

Even better news is that Scott Pruitt might well be interested in the AG job:

Politico’s Andrew Restuccia reported that Pruitt “has told friends and associates that he’s interested in becoming attorney general, according to three people familiar with the internal discussions.” (He added, “It’s unclear whether Pruitt would be on the shortlist for the position.”) Then, hours later, both Reuters and Bloomberg independently confirmed the report that Pruitt has been telling others he was interested in the attorney general job.

The sourcing and speedy corroborations from other outlets here suggest that Pruitt’s allies were deliberately putting out a message — to Trump. The message was that if Trump wanted to finally rid himself of Sessions, Pruitt would be positively eager to step in and replace him.

What Pruitt would do about the Mueller investigation is, of course, not explicitly stated in these reports, though the wink-wink implication seems to be that he’d handle it in a way Trump would prefer.

Vox also stated that moving Pruitt into the AG slot would also allay the concerns of conservatives wary of moving Sessions out.

To be fair, Vox did include the Trump tweets against ‘fake news’, but the article says this has happened before. It didn’t mention McMaster — Sarah Sanders came to his defence — but the same principle is in play.

Joe diGenova was nearly hired using this same Trump technique:

On March 11, he tweeted that he was “VERY happy” with his legal team and that a New York Times report that he’d add another lawyer was “false.” However, just eight days later, he announced he did in fact plan to hire another lawyer, Joseph diGenova, and a few days after that, his lead personal lawyer, John Dowd, exited the team. (DiGenova’s hiring fell through in the end.)

Furthermore, Trump has been known to float a great many possible personnel changes in conversations with friends and allies — a few of which end up happening, most of which don’t.

Scott Pruitt has not had an easy time at the EPA, which is filled with holdovers who are trying to make his life a misery whilst he is trying to reform the agency. That could work either for or against him in a lateral move.

Regardless …

Sessions is going to be out one way or another as soon as Trump can arrange it.

It has been a privilege to feature my reader George True’s comments as guest posts:

Guest post: a reader’s perspective on the Florida school shooting (February 23 comment)

Guest post: a reader’s perspective on the Deep State and Mueller investigation (April 15, George True)

Guest post: a reader’s perspective on Jeff Sessions’s priorities (George True, April 20 and Rosenstein’s presidential cufflinks)

In addition, I have written extensively about Attorney General Jeff Sessions, especially his recusals.

On Friday, May 11, George True responded to my post about Lisa Page’s and James Baker’s dismissals from the FBI/DOJ, which, according to Q, were not resignations at all as previously reported.

Below, George lays out what many of us are thinking. What are we to make of Jeff Sessions, a corrupt FBI/DOJ and the upcoming Inspector General’s (Michael Horowitz’s) report? Emphases mine below:

So, Q makes indirect reference to at least Lisa Page giving testimony, presumably to the Inspector General, and then signs off by saying the swamp is being drained, and trust The Plan.

And exactly where does that leave us then in regards to Jeff Sessions? Is he down with the plan? Is his being MIA while the deep state is trying to fatally damage his boss, along with his boss’s tweets of disappointment in Sessions all subterfuge so their prey does not get spooked prematurely?

Or is Sessions the willing enabler of the sham Mueller investigation which is pulling out all the stops to get Trump? After all, how could the DOJ’s Southern District of New York conduct a kick-in-the-doors Swat raid of Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen without, at the very least, tacit approval on the part of Sessions?

Or is there a third possibility, which is that Sessions is simply Out to Lunch, in other words, he is just a doddering, senile old fool? Some say, no no, Sessions is the Silent Assassin. Others have said that regardless of what he may have been back in the day, he is lately showing unmistakable signs of actual senility.

As I have said before, I simply and truly do not know what to think. I want very much to believe in the veracity of the apocryphal Q postings. And yet, the long awaited Inspector General Horowitz report was due out in January, then February, March, April, and now May. It will not surprise me in the slightest if it slips into June, then July, August, etc. Meanwhile, the all important mid-term elections hang in the balance, with George Soros and other global elites literally trying to buy the election, contributing many millions of dollars to leftist candidates all over the country. And at the same time, rogue agencies of our own government along with the MSM lob unceasing artillery barrages at our man Trump, with no counter battery fire whatsoever from the Republican party.

The real strategy on the part of the Democrat/Marxist/Globalist cabal is not so much to impeach Trump. Of course, if they get lucky and can actually pull it off they will gladly do it. But recognizing that impeachment this year is a low probability event, their actual strategy is to impeach Trump in the Court of Public Opinion. That is the reason for the ongoing series of orchestrated leaks on the part of the DOJ and FBI that Churchmouse has documented. That is why the leftist-Marxist mainstream media has given $175 million dollars worth of free media coverage to Stormy Daniels and her attorney over the last several months. And that is why the DOJ raided the offices and home of Trump’s attorney, in order to gain possession of any potentially salacious information about Trump that can be leaked to the media on an ongoing basis from now to the mid-terms. They are hoping that the steady drip, drip, drip of negative commentary about Trump can erode his support and create enough doubt with John Q Public that it can flip at least one if not both houses of Congress in November. If they can do that, then ACTUAL impeachment in 2019 becomes a high probability.

Let us pray that with or without Sessions, Trump has a solid plan and strategy for dealing with the Democrat traitors and subversives who are attempting this coup d’état, as well as a plan to deal with the quislings in our own Republican party who have gone along with it.

I couldn’t agree more.

It’s astonishing to read Trump fans’ unquestioning support of Jeff Sessions. At this stage, he could probably unrecuse himself since Robert Mueller’s investigation has gone far beyond the boundaries of the Trump presidential campaign.

It has been reported that an unnamed law enforcement official has leaked Michael Cohen’s — President Trump’s former personal lawyer’s — bank records which ended up in the hands of Stormy Daniels’s lawyer. And there is now a question over the banking records of two other Michael Cohens inadvertently mixed up in this hot mess. Surely, the Mueller team could have requested Trump’s attorney’s records through the relevant New York State authorities rather than sending in the FBI to raid his home, office and hotel room.

Also, Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager who got him the necessary delegates for the 2016 Republican nomination, is being investigated for financial transactions that took place in 2006 — ten years before. There was no Trump campaign at the time, and whatever went on concerned Manafort’s consulting work, completely unrelated to Donald Trump. Yet, a US district judge has rejected Manafort’s motion to dismiss charges against him.

Then there is the matter of a group inveigling Donald J Trump Jr into a meeting with a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower which could have been the basis for subsequent FISA warrants (surveillance) of the Trump campaign team. This showed up in the recently released testimony given to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

An unrecused Sessions could have mitigated much of this. As it stands, his inaction is crippling Trump’s ability to fully serve as president. George True is correct: Trump is going to have to deal with this coup d’état alone.

I hope Sleepy is proud of what he has wrought. Personally, I wouldn’t be able to look at myself in the mirror.

On April 2, 2018, Q gave a rundown of what he/they expected to happen last month.

Let’s look back to see how many of the topics Q mentioned in message 988 of April 2 made the news cycle:

Q !xowAT4Z3VQ 875265

April [A].
IG report.
Sessions public attack.
RR problems.
Seals broken.
[A]rrests.
Why was Huber made public?
Why now?
Everything has meaning.
[A]wan.
Tarmac.
Iran.
NK.
U1.
FBI.
DOJ.
Mueller.
Election Integrity.
Immigration Bill.
Border.
Wall.
Military start.
BIG month.
Q

The IG — Inspector General’s — report was scheduled for April but is now thought to appear in a few weeks’ time. Whether that is actually in May or June is unknown.

Sessions public attack — meaning Attorney General Jeff Sessions — bubbled up in April and continued during the first week in May with calls for his resignation.

RR — Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — definitely had problems in April, which I will cover in a separate post.

Seals broken — if that meant indictments, that did not happen.

Arrests — none of note.

Awan — the Awan brothers from Pakistan, led by Imran Awan, who were running the IT for Democrats in the House of Representatives, did make pro-Trump news sites, and Trump tweeted about ‘the Pakistani mystery man’. I will cover the Awan investigation in a separate post.

Tarmac — the infamous secret meeting between then Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton in July 2016 on Lynch’s plane. James Comey and Lynch disagree on their recollections of the Hillary Clinton ‘investigation’, or ‘matter’. Comey said one thing in his new book, A Higher Loyalty, and Lynch remembers differently. In early April (after Q’s post), NBC’s Lester Holt interviewed Lynch:

LESTER HOLT: But, so Comey says you want to call it, “The Clinton matter.” He wants to call it, “The Clinton investigation.” To the extent, though, that he noted it, that it bothered him did he go to you and question your credibility with regard to the Clinton case?

LORETTA LYNCH: Well, look I can tell you that, you know, it was a meeting like any other that we that we had had where we talked about the issues. And we had a full and open discussion about it.

LESTER HOLT: And he didn’t raise any concerns about?

LORETTA LYNCH: And concerns were not raised.

Trump tweeted:

Q corroborated the tweet (message 1161 of April 15), hinting that Lynch could have been offered Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court if Hillary had been elected. I have no interpretation of the mention of Rep Adam Schiff (D-California), the 187 (dead code) and John Brennan, former CIA director, other than it seems Q is saying Brennan is a black hat:

SC – Supreme Court.
RBG.
AS 187 / Clown Black (Brennan).
Q

Q’s next message, 1162, says:

We made sure a reporter was there to capture.
These people are stupid.
Q

The reporter’s name is Christopher Sign. He moved to Atlanta in 2017. His last day with KNXV Phoenix was September 29.

Iran — was a big news item. Critical Threats has a summary:

Key takeaway: Iranian officials may be preparing to retaliate against Israel after Israel launched its second airstrike against Iranian targets in Syria since April 8.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) targeted Iranian assets in western Syria on April 29 and reportedly killed 18 Iranian fighters. Iranian media denied the reports of Iranian deaths following the strike. The April 29 strike comes after Israel’s April 8 airstrike on the Pro-Syrian regime T-4 airbase in Homs, Homs Governorate in southern Syria. The April 8 strike killed seven IRGC fighters. Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Shamkhani vowed to “punish” Israel for its “evil action” following the April 8 airstrikes. Defense Minister Artesh Brigadier General Amir Hatami warned Israel on May 1 to stop its “scheming and dangerous behaviors” and suggested that the Axis of Resistance and Iran would confront Israel with a “regrettable and blindsiding” response.

NK — North Korea — was April’s blockbuster news item, which will feature in a separate post.

U1 — Uranium One — made a brief blip in the news cycle and might relate to the Mueller investigation’s raid on the properties and hotel room of Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen on April 9:

FBI, DOJ and Mueller — much is happening there which will feature in a separate post, although some April news is in my post about Jeff Sessions’s recusals.

Election Integrity — a report about voting abuses and the actual number of votes from the 2016 election was due but has not yet materialised.

Immigration Bill — nothing has happened since the beginning of the year.

Border — two stories made the news: part of the human caravan reached the US border with Mexico and dozens of California communities voted against the state’s sanctuary city policy.

Wall — construction began on March 26.

Military start — the National Guard was sent to the border with Mexico, and there was another attack on Syria nearly a year to the day after 2017’s.

BIG month — yes, especially where North Korea is concerned.

Q’s daily posts discussed John McCain’s trip to Syria a few years ago, social media tracking, the raid on Michael Cohen, trade with China, the plane incidents (‘new booms’, message 1174), the change of government in Armenia (CIA — ‘clowns’ — losing control, message 1243), not to mention the Iran deal and Uranium One — asking about the possibility that Uranium One material ended up in Syria.

Q also reiterated that the administration has the information it needs and that it will soon be time to proceed to the next phase: justice (message 1296, April 29).

I hope so, because, right now, things look rather unsettled.

As always, Q advised everyone to stay united rather than divided.

In the first half of 2017, Trump supporters — myself included — were enthusiastic about Jefferson Beauregard Sessions as attorney general.

On February 10, I wrote about child molesters and traffickers:

Can Jeff Sessions make pizza great again?

Although perverts and traffickers are always being arrested, under Sessions’s watch, the number began to increase exponentially. Great news!

Another big problem was MS-13. On April 10, I posted:

Attorney General Sessions sends message to MS-13: ‘We will find you’

From those two targets, we see that Sessions’s DOJ was making a move on people all of us can agree fall into the category of criminal.

However, there is another type of criminal: Washington DC politicians who work against the interests of the United States and, within that group, the subset which has been trying to bring down President Donald Trump since November 9, 2016, the day after the election. George True’s guest post of April 15, 2018 explains how serious this is:

Guest post: a reader’s perspective on the Deep State and Mueller investigation

That Jeff Sessions does not consider the DC Swamp rats to be criminals is problematic.

My other 2018 posts about him have reflected this:

Trump tweets frustration with slow investigation (February 24 – 28, 2018)

Increasing outcry for Sleepy Sessions to go (April 19)

Guest post: a reader’s perspective on Jeff Sessions’s priorities (George True, April 20 and Rosenstein’s presidential cufflinks)

Jeff Sessions began recusing himself from Swamp rat investigations early in 2017.

As a result, he has made life extremely difficult for President Trump and his associates. The coup continues apace.

January 10, 2017 — first hint of recusal

As early as January 2017, Sessions said he would recuse himself from any campaign issues involving Hillary Clinton.

On January 10, the Los Angeles Times reported (emphases mine):

Sen. Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s pick to be the next attorney general, testified before Congress on Tuesday that he would recuse himself from any investigations and prosecutions involving Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Sessions and Trump called during the fall campaign for Clinton to be investigated and prosecuted for her use of a private email server, despite determinations by the FBI and Justice Department that her actions did not warrant charges. Since his election, Trump has said he did not support such an investigation or prosecution. 

Sessions said he had made comments during the “contentious” campaign about Clinton’s use of the email server and her family’s charitable foundation that could place his objectivity in question.

“I believe the proper thing for me to do would be to recuse myself from any questions involving those kind of investigations that involve Secretary Hillary Clinton,” the Alabama Republican told senators on the Judiciary Committee.

March 2, 2017 – first recusal statement

After Sessions was appointed attorney general, he formally recused himself from campaign investigations.

On March 2, he gave a statement, excerpted below:

During the course of the confirmation proceedings on my nomination to be Attorney General, I advised the Senate Judiciary Committee that ‘[i]f a specific matter arose where I believed my impartiality might reasonably be questioned, I would consult with Department ethics officials regarding the most appropriate way to proceed.’ 

During the course of the last several weeks, I have met with the relevant senior career Department officials to discuss whether I should recuse myself from any matters arising from the campaigns for President of the United States

Having concluded those meetings today, I have decided to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States

Quartz provided the background:

US attorney general Jeff Sessions, responding to mounting pressure from Democrats and from his own party, announced that he is recusing himself from any current or future investigations into the 2016 US presidential campaigns. The decision followed reports that he had spoken twice last year with Russia’s ambassador to the US. Russia, of course, is widely believed by US intelligence agencies to have meddled in the election.

Sessions, a former Republican senator and an advisor to US president Donald Trump during the race, had testified during his Senate confirmation hearing in January that he had not had communications with the Russians during the campaign. At his press conference today (March 2), Sessions spoke about one of the meetings, recalling that it ending in a tense confrontation about Ukraine.

Business Insider provided more detail:

The attorney general recused himself on March 2 after reports emerged that Sessions had twice met with the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, during the course of the election, contradicting statements he made during his Senate confirmation hearing, in which he said under oath that he did not have contacts with Russians during the campaign

Following the bombshell report, Democrats swiftly demanded Sessions’ resignation, while a growing group of Republicans called on the attorney general to recuse himself from campaign-related investigations.

During questioning by Sen. Ron Wyden later in the hearing, Sessions said that there were no classified reasons for his recusal, as former FBI Director James Comey suggested in his Senate testimony last week. Sessions also claimed that he had informally recused himself since he was confirmed to lead the Justice Department. 

I basically recused myself the first day I got into the office because I never accessed files, I never learned the names of investigators, I never met with them, I never asked for any documentation,” Sessions told Wyden. “The documentation — what little I received — was mostly already in the media.” 

Months later, the Los Angeles Times noted:

In March, Sessions announced he was recusing himself from any investigation into charges that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election and potential collusion between Russians and Trump’s campaign. Following his announcement, reports surfaced that Trump was irate that Sessions had recused himself from any investigation.

Fake news or a grain of truth in that last sentence?

I’m writing up what happened to HR McMaster, which I will post here in due course, and found that these rumours and reports turned out to be true.

June 13, 2017 – second recusal statement

On June 13, 2017, the Los Angeles Times reported Sessions’s second formal recusal, this time into Russian collusion:

Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions insists his recusal from any investigation into Russian collusion in last year’s election was simple: It’s the law.

In an opening statement before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, Sessions cited a Department of Justice regulation that he said mandated him stepping aside …

“I recused myself not because of any asserted wrongdoing on my part during the campaign,” Sessions said. “But because a Department of Justice regulation, 28 CFR 45.2, required it.”

“That regulation states, in effect, that department employees should not participate in investigations of a campaign if they have served as a campaign advisor,” said Sessions.

Throughout much of the 2016 election, Sessions served as a senior advisor to Trump’s campaign.

July 2017 — a vexed Trump unloads

On July 19, three New York Times reporters — Peter Baker, Michael S Schmidt and Maggie Haberman — published an interview (and transcript) with President Trump at the White House.

Trump did not mince words. The article led with this:

WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Wednesday that he never would have appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions had he known Mr. Sessions would recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation that has dogged his presidency, calling the decision “very unfair to the president.”

In a remarkable public break with one of his earliest political supporters, Mr. Trump complained that Mr. Sessions’s decision ultimately led to the appointment of a special counsel that should not have happened. “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,” Mr. Trump said.

However, the topic did not come up until later in the interview. On this and other subjects, this has to be one of the best interviews ever. On Robert Mueller, Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein, Trump had this to say:

SCHMIDT: What do you understand to be the four corners of what Mueller [Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel in the Russia investigation] can look at, if he steps—— [crosstalk]

TRUMP: I don’t know. Nobody has contacted me about anything.

_________

TRUMP: Because I have done nothing wrong. A special counsel should never have been appointed in this case.

BAKER: Can we put that on the record?

TRUMP: Because so far, the only — yeah, you can put it down.

SCHMIDT: Was that [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions’s mistake or [Deputy Attorney General Rod J.] Rosenstein’s mistake?

________

TRUMP: Look, Sessions gets the job. Right after he gets the job, he recuses himself.

BAKER: Was that a mistake?

TRUMP: Well, 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.

HABERMAN: He gave you no heads up at all, in any sense?

TRUMP: Zero. So Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself. I then have — which, frankly, I think is very unfair to the president. How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, “Thanks, Jeff, but I can’t, you know, I’m not going to take you.” It’s extremely unfair, and that’s a mild word, to the president. So he recuses himself. I then end up with a second man, who’s a deputy.

HABERMAN: Rosenstein.

TRUMP: Who is he? And Jeff hardly knew. He’s from Baltimore.

________

TRUMP: Yeah, what Jeff Sessions did was he recused himself right after, right after he became attorney general. And I said, “Why didn’t you tell me this before?” I would have — then I said, “Who’s your deputy?” So his deputy he hardly knew, and that’s Rosenstein, Rod Rosenstein, who is from Baltimore. There are very few Republicans in Baltimore, if any. So, he’s from Baltimore. Now, he, we went through a lot of things. We were interviewing replacements at the F.B.I. Did you know Mueller was one of the people that was being interviewed?

HABERMAN: I did, actually.

TRUMP: He was sitting in that chair. We had a wonderful meeting.

HABERMAN: Day before, right?

SCHMIDT: Did he want the job?

TRUMP: The day before! Of course, he was up here, and he wanted the job.

HABERMAN: And he made that clear to you? He would have——

________

TRUMP: So, now what happens is, he leaves the office. Rosenstein leaves the office. The next day, he is appointed special counsel. I said, what the hell is this all about? Talk about conflicts? But he was interviewing for the job. There were many other conflicts that I haven’t said, but I will at some point. So Jeff Sessions, Jeff Sessions gave some bad answers.

HABERMAN: You mean at the hearing?

TRUMP: Yeah, he gave some answers that were simple questions and should have been simple answers, but they weren’t. He then becomes attorney general, and he then announces he’s going to recuse himself. Why wouldn’t he have told me that before?

HABERMAN: Why do you think it was? What do you think it was?

TRUMP: I don’t know.

BAKER: What would cause you — what would be the line beyond which if Mueller went, you would say, “That’s too far, we would need to dismiss him”?

TRUMP: Look, there are so many conflicts that everybody has. Then Rosenstein becomes extremely angry because of Comey’s Wednesday press conference, where he said that he would do the same thing he did a year ago with Hillary Clinton, and Rosenstein became extremely angry at that because, as a prosecutor, he knows that Comey did the wrong thing. Totally wrong thing. And he gives me a letter, O.K., he gives me a letter about Comey. And by the way, that was a tough letter, O.K. Now, perhaps I would have fired Comey anyway, and it certainly didn’t hurt to have the letter, O.K. But he gives me a very strong letter, and now he’s involved in the case. Well, that’s a conflict of interest. Do you know how many conflicts of interests there are? But then, then Comey also says that he did something in order to get the special prose— special counsel. He leaked. The reason he leaked. So, he illegally leaked.

Trump took to Twitter to express his vexation with Sessions, who was on an MS-13 mission in El Salvador at the time (see his priorities!):

So why aren’t the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations?

On July 27, Sessions told Tucker Carlson (Fox News) how ‘hurtful’ the President’s tweets were. Note that he defended his recusals:

He never should have taken the job!

Mueller conflicts of interest

To go into all the conflicts of interest in this investigation would take ages. Uranium One is the biggest, and it involves Russia, Mueller and Rosenstein.

That said, the public were angry at the way Big Media — especially CNN — were reporting the Mueller investigation.

On July 24, a contributor to The_Donald posted a testy thread, the title of which is:

FAKE NEWS CNN defending Sessions’ recusal while DEAD SILENT about Mueller needing to recuse for the same reasons. MUELLER IS MORE CONFLICTED THAN SESSIONS! REPORT THE TRUTH!

By way of reply, someone posted a link to a Crime and Consequences article, ‘My View: Mueller is Conflicted Out‘. The premise of the article is that Robert Mueller cannot continue to serve as Special Counsel under 28 USC Section 528 and 28 CFR Section 45.2. You can read the article for the detail.

The author provides an excellent summary of Mueller, James Comey and more. The following continues to be discussed today, particularly in light of Comey’s recent book launch and associated interviews:

Jim Comey and Bob Mueller have been friends for about 15 years

Comey now finds himself smack-dab at the center of the Russian investigation over which Mueller presides. Questions swirl around Comey — about whether the President wanted/hinted/hoped/asked/directed/or something else the investigation of National Security Adviser Gen. Flynn to be stopped/abandoned/slowed/soft-peddled/something else. This is probably the central element of the obstruction of justice case Mr. Trump’s opponents would like to see made against him.

Questions also swirl about Comey’s notes about this conversation, why he gave them to a private individual (Prof. Dan Richman of Columbia Law) to convey to the press. Additional questions have arisen about whether this curious and seemingly devious means of putting contents of the notes in the public domain (leaking, in other words) was designed specifically to bring about the appointment of a Special Counsel outside the President’s direct reach — and, indeed, whether Comey wanted, expected or intended his friend Mueller to get the job.

There is much to be said of all this, none of it very happy-making. But one thing that can be said with considerable clarity if not comfort is that, under the governing rules (set forth above), Mueller has a long-term relationship with Comey that “may result in a personal…conflict of interest, or the appearance thereof.”

He is therefore disqualified. I hope and believe that Mueller, whom I believe to be an honest man and a partisan of the rule of law, will see this for himself. If he doesn’t, I hope Rod Rosenstein will.

As I’ve said in many other contexts, I like rule-orientation and fear self-justification, a ubiquitous flaw in even the best of men. There is no way Comey is not a central witness in this investigation (if not a subject). Even less is there a way Mueller can be expected to evaluate Comey’s credibility with the fresh neutrality, arm’s-length curiosity, and objective sharp eye his job demands.

Whether Mueller’s departure would work out well or badly for Mr. Trump is not knowable (it is also decidedly not the subject of this post). My point is about the application of stated rules to the facts at hand. Let the chips fall where they may, the application is clear: Mueller cannot remain as Special Counsel.

That article was from June 2017. Nearly one year later, nothing has changed. Mueller’s still in situ.

On September 20, Law & Crime‘s Rachel Stockman asked why Rosenstein wasn’t recusing himself from the Mueller probe. Because Sessions recused himself, Rosenstein is the DOJ’s link to Mueller (emphases in the original, those in purple mine):

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosentein is overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s Russia investigation after Jeff Sessions recused himself. However, there are some concerns about his ability to adequately supervise an investigation that he has now become a part of. On Tuesday night, The Wall Street Journal broke the story that over the summer, Mueller’s investigators interviewed Rosentein about President Donald Trump‘s firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

The Journal claims the FBI’s handling of the interview “could be a sign that Mr. Mueller’s team doesn’t view Mr. Rosenstein as a central witness in its probe, as the deputy attorney general hasn’t withdrawn himself from overseeing it since that interview.” That could very well be the case, but the optics don’t look good. A spokesperson for Rosenstein said “if there comes a time when he needs to recuse, he will. However, nothing has changed.” Well, now might be the time …

Rosenstein, as a federal lawyer and a DOJ employee, is guided by both local D.C. ethics rules and Justice Department guidelines. Both would prohibit him from overseeing an investigation if he is a person of interest or a target

However, legal experts emphasize that we don’t know yet whether Rosenstein is a target of the investigation for his role in writing that infamous memo giving Trump “justification” for firing Comey.  Did Rosenstein cooperate in a lie to the public?  18 USC 1512(c)(2) says that obstruction happens when a person “corruptly… impedes [an] official proceeding or attempts to do so.”

“Creating a false narrative for firing Comey could be such an attempt. The definition of ‘official proceeding; includes “a proceeding before a Federal Government agency which is authorized by law.’ That language is broad enough to encompass the FBI and the Comey investigation,” Gillers said.

Now, the hope is that if the investigation starts honing in on Rosenstein, Mueller would advise him that he needed to recuse himself.  BUT there is this added wrinkle: Mueller may have an incentive in wanting to keep Rosentein as his supervisor. Trump’s team has hinted more than once that he might fire Mueller. Federal law says that technically Trump can’t do the firing. Instead, the U.S. Attorney General (or in this case Rosenstein since Sessions recused himself) would have to do it. From all indications, Rosenstein would probably not demure to such a demand from Trump …

In the end, we must rely on Mueller’s integrity, and pray that if Rosenstein was in legal jeopardy, Mueller would do the right thing and ask him to take himself off the investigation. In the wake of James Comey’s breach in DOJ policy, asking us to trust our public officials seems like a scary thought. With so much at stake, so many unknowns, and the world watching, Mr. Rosenstein needs to think long and hard about recusing himself. 

Well, Rosey’s still managing the Mueller investigation.

September 2017 – calls for unrecusal

By September, there were calls for Sessions to unrecuse himself. Here’s Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch:

By December, there was doubt as to whether Sessions should have recused at all:

On December 18, Alan Dershowitz offered the clearest rationale for an unrecusal. Emphases mine below.

He told Fox & Friends (video at the link):

Sessions could un-recuse himself, because the law allows anyone who’s recused themselves to un-recuse if there are new developments or circumstances.

And Dershowitz said the reason Sessions can do this, is because Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should recuse himself.

Rosenstein is a “key witness” after writing the memo justifying Jim Comey’s firing.

November 2017 – question over possible Uranium One recusal

On November 2, Breitbart reported that Rep. Mark Gaetz (R – Florida) told them that Sessions would recuse over Uranium One (H/T: Conservative Treehouse). Bold emphasis in the original, those in purple mine:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions told a small group of lawmakers in late September he was recused from appointing a special counsel to look into potential corruption surrounding the Uranium One deal and Fusion GPS’s work on the Trump dossier, according to one of the lawmakers present.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) told Breitbart News on Wednesday that he and other House Judiciary Committee Republicans had met with Sessions at the Justice Department on September 28 in advance of an upcoming committee hearing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein later this month.

Gaetz said that when he asked Sessions to appoint a special counsel to investigate the 2010 Uranium One deal and Fusion GPS, the attorney general stood up, said he could not discuss the matter because he had recused himself, and walked out of the room, leaving them with a group of Rosenstein staffers “who showed no interest.”

“He said that anything that had to do with 2016 election, or Russia, or the candidates in the 2016 election, fell under the scope of his recusal, and he left the room,” Gaetz said.

“It was Sessions’ position that his recusal on the Russia matter divorced him from any oversight on Uranium One and Fusion GPS. That’s troubling. Sessions’ recusal is a function of his involvement in the Trump campaign. In no world does that impact his judgment as it relates to Fusion GPS and Uranium One. But he views the recusal more broadly. That’s troubling because that puts Rosenstein in charge,” he said.

Gaetz said Rosenstein’s staffers provided “no answers” and “no timeline for answers.”

This is why many of us have been saying that Sessions must resign or, as such time as the Senate will approve a replacement, be fired.

Yet, investigative journalist Sara Carter told Fox’s Sean Hannity that the report was not true:

I hope Sara Carter is correct.

November 2017 – Sessions critics told they are disloyal

Sleepy’s critics are constantly being told by his supporters that by being critical of him they are being critical of Trump! False!

As much as I liked Imperator_Rex — currently Vachel Lindsay — on Twitter, the logic that he and others employ with this stance is wrong. Here’s a taster from a rather long thread of his from November 3:

Who knows what’s happening with The Storm? All the people we want to see brought to justice have been going on book tours (Hillary, Comey), giving speeches overseas (Obama) and leading a normal life (e.g. John Podesta).

Re 36, no, it’s not because Trump ‘wants’ Sessions there, it’s because the only way Trump can get a replacement for him is if he (Sessions) resigns (vacancy rules apply).

The Senate told Trump in 2017 that they will not approve any new cabinet members, making it impossible for Trump to fire Sessions. Nor will the Senate allow Trump to appoint someone new when the Senate is not in session. Consequently, the Senate has not been declaring any formal recess.

Trump’s hands are tied, unless Sessions resigns.

Even then, Trump has to have a replacement in mind.

It certainly won’t be Rosenstein.

Re 37, saying that Sessions critics are disloyal to Trump is egregious. We care deeply about President Trump. That’s why we want Sessions out of the way, so that Swamp rats can be dealt with the way the Founding Fathers intended.

Again, we have only Sara Carter’s word for that.

December 2017 – Former FBI director Kallstrom says Mueller should recuse

On December 4, former FBI director James Kallstrom told Breitbart that Robert Mueller should recuse himself:

“Bob Mueller should have never been offered nor accepted the job as special counsel as he has a huge conflict of interest,” Jim Kallstrom tells Breitbart News …

Not only do observers describe Mueller and the man he recommended to replace him as FBI director, James Comey, as close or even best friends, but the special counsel pursues an investigation heavily involving the bureau he once led. How one maintains detachment in leading a team that includes numerous anti-Trump partisans in a probe involving one’s close friend and the former bureau for which Mueller served as director goes unexplained.

Other problems Kallstrom sees include the means by which investigators obtained information and what constituted probable cause to obtain it.

“The Obama administration apparently, had the advantage of using electronic surveillance, collecting information on the Trump campaign,” Kallstrom explains. “That collection, in my view, may be found to be unlawful.”

If the surveillance and investigatory methods prove unlawful, Kallstrom notes that this puts Mueller in an awkward position of looking into his close friend and perhaps the bureau that both men once led.

“If they used the phony dossier as the predicate for the FISA order they obtained, that could be a huge problem,” Kallstrom tells Breitbart News. “If they knew the information was phony, that is a felony. If they did not know it was phony, they were incompetent.”

January 2018 – White House tried to talk Sessions out of recusal

On January 5, 2018, Fox News reported that White House officials tried to talk Sessions out of recusing himself in 2017 (emphases mine):

President Trump instructed three senior White House officials to talk Attorney General Jeff Sessions out of recusing himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into potential ties between Russia and members of the Trump campaign, multiple sources told Fox News on Friday.

Trump called on White House counsel Don McGahn, former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and former Press Secretary Sean Spicer to stop Sessions from recusing himself.

Spicer has denied the allegation.

The push to convince Sessions allegedly took place over the course of a number of telephone calls that covered a variety of other topics, the well-placed sources told Fox.

On Thursday, The New York Times first reported that Trump had directed McGahn to contact Sessions this past March. According to The Associated Press, two anonymous sources confirmed that McGahn unsuccessfully lobbied Sessions to continue to oversee the Russia investigation.

Sessions supporters will have trouble with ‘multiple sources’ and ‘anonymous sources’, but every single presidential administration has had them.

My upcoming McMaster chronicle shows that, nearly every time one of these sources spoke to the media, they were telling the truth.

March – Sessions took recusal advice from Obama lawyers

Just when the Sessions situation couldn’t seem more intolerable, the Gateway Pundit reported on March 14 that the attorney general took recusal advice from Obama adminstration lawyers (emphases in the original):

On Wednesday night FOX News contributor and legal expert Gregg Jarrett told Sean Hannity that Sessions used the WRONG LAW when announcing his recusal. He took advice from OBAMA OFFICIALS and they misled him.

Gregg Jarrett: He betrayed the president. He knew when he was sworn in that he was going to recuse himself and the very next day he put the recusal in motion. He never told the president about that. And by the way he cited the regulation in his recusal… He cited the wrong law. It didn’t apply.

Sara Carter: I think he was being advised badly at the time.

Gregg Jarrett: Yeah, by Obama’s holdovers. Who in the world would believe them?

Good grief! He cited the wrong law!

The DOJ regulation Sessions cited — 28 CFR 45.2— says “no DOJ employee may participate in a criminal investigation or prosecution if he has a personal or political relationship with any person or organization substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution, or who would be directly affected by the outcome.”

As Andrew McCarthy at National Review reported, “The regulation he cited applies to a different type of investigation.”

Once again the question must be asked: Who did deep state catch Jeff Sessions in bed with?

My thoughts exactly.

April 2018 – Congress asks Sessions to investigate Swamp

On April 18, members of Congress wrote to Sessions, FBI Director Christopher Wray and United States Attorney John Huber requesting that they issue a criminal referral for a long list of Swamp dwellers, including FBI Director James Comey, Hillary Clinton and others – including FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, for a laundry list of potential crimes surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

You can read the letter in full at Scribd.

ZeroHedge has more (emphases in the original):

Recall that Sessions paired special prosecutor John Huber with DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz – falling short of a second Special Counsel, but empowering Horowitz to fully investigate allegations of FBI FISA abuse with subpoena power and other methods he was formerly unable to utilize.

The GOP letter’s primary focus appears to be James Comey, while the charges for all include obstruction, perjury, corruption, unauthorized removal of classified documents, contributions and donations by foreign nationals and other allegations.

The letter also demands that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “be recused from any examination of FISA abuse,” and recommends that “neither U.S. Attorney John Huber nor a special counsel (if appointed) should report to Rosenstein.”  

April 2018 – possible partial recusal in Cohen investigation

Early in April, the home, office and hotel room of President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen were ransacked.

It’s possible that Sessions could recuse himself from this, too — at least partially.

On April 24, Gateway Pundit carried a news story, ‘WTH? AG Sessions Will Not Recuse Himself From Cohen Investigation — Only on Certain Issues‘ (emphases in the original):

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has decided not to recuse himself from the investigation into Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Don’t get too excited because Sessions will consider stepping back on specific matters tied into the Cohen probe …

On Tuesday, GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin sent a letter to AG Sessions demanding to know his involvement in the FBI raid of Cohen.

“We would like to know if you approved, were consulted, or had any involvement in this decision by the Department of Justice,” Zeldin asked in a letter to AG Sessions about the FBI raid of Cohen on April 9th.

Gateway Pundit cited a Reuters article which says that Sessions discussed the matter at a Senate appropriations subcommittee meeting about the proposed 2019 budget for the Justice Department. Please read it, because it’s got all the classic Sessions recusal statements.

Conclusion

To date, Sessions’s recusals look increasingly like refusals to do the AG job in its entirety.

Jeff Sessions is up for the chop. It’s just a matter of time and circumstance. After the Cohen raid, Trump is even unhappier with the AG and the DOJ than he was a year ago at this time.

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