President Trump continued publicly to criticize Jeff Sessions, his Attorney General, yesterday. He tweeted:
“Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.” Jeff, this is GREAT, what everyone wants, so look into all of the corruption on the “other side” including deleted Emails, Comey lies & leaks, Mueller conflicts, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Ohr.
FISA abuse, Christopher Steele & his phony and corrupt Dossier, the Clinton Foundation, illegal surveillance of Trump Campaign, Russian collusion by Dems – and so much more. Open up the papers & documents without redaction? Come on Jeff, you can do it, the country is waiting!
Many have become numb to the weirdness of a president who publicly taunts not just his adversaries, but his own appointees. I’ll return to that subject in a moment, but first, let’s look at the substance of the taunt.
It’s not the job of the Justice Department to pursue every talking point pushed by members of his party. In this case, though, Trump is right that serious issues of corruption have been raised.
But the Justice Department is “looking into” most of them. It has investigated the conduct of McCabe and Strzok. Both have been fired. It has referred McCabe’s case for possible criminal indictment.
Moreover, the Justice Department reportedly is investigating the Clinton Foundation over allegations of pay-to-play. And Sessions has appointed U.S. Attorney John Huber to investigate the FBI’s behavior during the 2016 campaign.
Huber has broad prosecutor’s power. He can convene a grand jury, issue subpoenas, collect evidence and order witnesses as he delves into such matters as whether the FBI abused its powers when it sought permission and then carried out wiretapping of a Trump campaign figure, or whether it trod too lightly in pursuing questions about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
We haven’t heard much about Huber’s work, but that’s not surprising. He hasn’t been on the job for nearly as long as Mueller has been. In addition, Huber has no incentive to publicize his work, and neither does the mainstream media.
Even in the face of inaction, it would be odd for a president publicly to exhort his AG to investigate these matters. Given that many of them are under investigation, Trump’s exhortation is downright weird.
Sessions works for Trump. If Trump has questions about what is or is not being investigated at the DOJ, all he has to do is ask Sessions. If he wants to urge that something be investigated all he has to do tell him.
Sessions was at the White House on Thursday. He could have exhorted Sessions in private. Had he done so, Sessions might have reminded the president that most of the matters he later tweeted about are being looked into.
But this wouldn’t have served Trump’s purposes.