Fred Henneke, Attorney & Counselor-At-Law
During Watergate it was L. Patrick Gray that was left “twisting slowly, slowly in the wind.” Now it is Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ turn to”‘suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” hurled and directed at him by his boss, President Trump. The President is obviously very miffed at the Attorney General for doing the right and honorable thing by recusing himself from the Russian investigations, thereby removing himself from a position of protecting the President and his family from unwanted scrutiny.
Can the President fire the Attorney General?. Absolutely! There is no statutory or Constitutional bar from him doing so. Would it be a smart political move on the President’s part? NO, but that didn’t stop him from firing FBI Director Comey. Politics doesn’t seem to enter into too many of the President’s decisions, actions or tweets. What are the odds of the Presidents firing Mr. Sessions? I would say better than 50 – 50.
Here is a scenario for such a firing:
- Mr. Mueller starts digging in earnest into the Trump family finances and transactions, past and current, in order to find if there is any grounds for collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.
- Trump orders Sessions to rescind his recusal and fire Mueller. Sessions refuses and is fired. Trump makes the same demand on Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, who also refuses and is fired.
- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie resigns as governor. During the congressional August recess, the President exercises his constitutional power and makes a recess appointment of Christie as Attorney General. Christie promptly fires Mueller; Christie serves until the conclusion of the next Senate session.
- All this happens in one day.
- Christie refuses to name a replacement for Mueller. Congress is outraged, infuriated, and impotent. Ultimately, no new Special Counsel is named and Congress decides to rely instead on the ongoing FBI and Congressional investigations.
- Without a special counsel and with a lapdog Department of Justice, the serious concerns over collusion and/or obstruction of justice fade away to become fodder for future PhD theses.
Likely? Perhaps. Far fetched? No. Would such a series of actions be grounds for impeachment? Yes, but would there be the political and moral will for Congress to rise up and defend our Constitutional way of life?
Only if we lead the way.