US President, Donald Trump is contemplating firing the current Attorney General, Jeff Sessions.
The president has publicly voiced his frustration over his long-time ally and referred to him as “beleaguered” in a Tweet.
Jeff Sessions was one of the earliest Republican lawmakers to endorse Donald Trump’s bid to presidency in 2016. He also appeared in a number of rallies to champion Trump. Hence, when Trump became president, not many were surprised that Sessions was nominated to be the Attorney General of United States.
However, Session almost immediately fell out of favor with the administration. Information emerged that he had met Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak on three different occasions during the presidential campaign. He had not disclosed these meetings during his confirmation hearings. Kislyak reportedly told his superiors in Kremlin that he had discussed the presidential campaign with Sessions during these meetings, something Sessions has denied.
There is an ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller on whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to disrupt the elections. As a result of his undisclosed meetings with Kislyak, Sessions recused himself from all investigations regarding this matter. It was his recusal that led to the appointment of Mueller as special counsel.
Most recently, Jared Kushner, a senior White House adviser and son-in-law to the president, had to testify to the US Congress. In the closed-door meeting, he said that he had met with Russians on four specific occasions but did not collude.
Trump has expressed his frustration over Sessions’ recusal from the investigation. During an interview with New York Times, he said that he regretted appointing Sessions. At the time, Sessions noted that he does not plan to resign.
A report in Washington Post notes that the president has spoken to his advisers about replacing Sessions. Some of the names that are being considered as replacements are former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and Republican senator Ted Cruz.
Trump even seemed to mock Sessions by calling him beleaguered in a tweet. He said, “So why aren't the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys (sic) crimes & Russia relations?”
Our assessment is that nearly all roads in the White House lead back to the Russian investigation. It is possible that Trump is looking to fire Sessions, so he can appoint an AG who can in turn fire Mueller to put an end the investigation. It is perhaps prudent for Sessions to consider stepping down from his position as well. As the AG, he is the chief law enforcement officer and chief lawyer of the United States government. Without the confidence of the president, he may no longer have the mandate to pursue the agenda set for United States.