Jeff Sessions

Deputy Attorney General Nominee Faces Heat

Politico: “Senate Democrats, intent on keeping questions about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia front and center, are turning to their next target: Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ top deputy. Rod Rosenstein, a veteran U.S. attorney whom President Donald Trump has nominated to become the Justice Department’s No. 2, heads into his confirmation hearing Tuesday squarely in the eye of the firestorm over the Russia controversy that has engulfed the Trump presidency for weeks.”

“The weight of the Russia investigation would fall on Rosenstein if he’s confirmed. Democrats are using what would usually be a noncontroversial nomination to extract as many concessions from Rosenstein as possible.”

Trump Furious About Sessions Recusing Himself

The Washington Post reports that President Trump left the White House “in a fury” on Friday, “fuming about Jeff Sessions’s recusal and telling aides that the Attorney General shouldn’t have recused himself” on a story he thought was “bull.”

Jonathan Swan: “To understand Trump’s psychology you need to grasp that the worst sin in Trumpland is to back down. The staff who’ve been with Trump the longest have internalized that fact. Their first instincts in any controversy are to deny and attack. Aides who don’t get Trump enrage him by being too willing to back down. In Trump’s mind, an inch of retreat — even if the facts seemingly demand an apology — is unforgivable.”

Sessions and Trump Have a Tight Bond

Washington Post: “Jeff Sessions was the first senator to endorse Trump at a time when few Republican lawmakers supported the candidate. His early and fierce loyalty — and his ability to translate Trump’s nationalist instincts into policy — helped him forge a bond with the president, and he now enjoys access whenever he wants it, a privilege that few get, an official said.”

“Two of Sessions’s former Senate advisers — Stephen Miller and Rick Dearborn — hold key White House roles, and one official said Sessions still talks to them regularly.”

Sessions Used Political Funds to Attend GOP Convention

“The Trump administration says Attorney General Jeff Sessions was acting as a then-U.S. senator when he talked to Russia’s ambassador at an event during last year’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland, but Mr. Sessions paid for convention travel expenses out of his own political funds and he spoke about Donald Trump’s campaign at the event,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Sessions Will Recuse Himself from Russia Investigation

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions, facing a chorus of criticism over his contacts with the Russian ambassador, recused himself Thursday from any investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election,” the New York Times reports.

“His conversations with the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, came amid suspected Russian hacking directed at Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”

Sessions Did Not Disclose Contacts with Russia

“Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) spoke twice last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, encounters he did not disclose when asked about possible contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign and representatives of Moscow during Sessions’s confirmation hearing to become attorney general,” the Washington Post reports.

Said sessions at his confirmation hearing: “I did not have communications with the Russians.”

“The previously undisclosed discussions could fuel new congressional calls for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russia’s alleged role in the 2016 presidential election. As attorney general, Sessions oversees the Justice Department and the FBI, which have been leading investigations into Russian meddling and any links to Trump’s associates. He has so far resisted calls to recuse himself.”

Sessions Plays a Big Role for Trump

Washington Post: “The directives bore Trump’s name, but another man’s fingerprints were also on nearly all of them: Jeff Sessions.”

“The early days of the Trump presidency has rushed a nationalist agenda long on the fringes of American life into action — and Sessions, the quiet Alabaman who long cultivated these ideas as a Senate back-bencher, has become a singular power in this new Washington.”

“Sessions’ nomination as Trump’s attorney general is scheduled to be considered Tuesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee, yet his influence in the administration extends far beyond the Justice Department. From immigration and health care to national security and trade, Sessions is the intellectual godfather of the president’s policies. Sessions’ reach extends throughout the White House, with his aides and allies accelerating the president’s most dramatic moves, including the ban on refugees and migrants from seven mostly Muslim nations that has triggered fear around the globe.”

Confirmation Hearing for Jeff Sessions

The U.S. Senate is considering the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to be Attorney General.

Politico: “As the Senate Judiciary Committee kicks off a two-day marathon hearing on Sessions Tuesday, the goal isn’t just to get him confirmed. Trump’s team wants him to emerge unscathed, with a clear runway to enact his policy agenda at DOJ despite his controversial history on voting rights and decades-old allegations of racism.”

C-SPAN has live coverage.

Booker Will Testify Against Sessions

“In a step his office says is unprecedented, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) will testify against fellow Sen. Jeff Sessions Wednesday when the Alabama Republican, nominated to become U.S. Attorney General, comes before the Senate Judiciary Committee,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

“Booker will be one of three African-American lawmakers making a case against Sessions as they try to prevent him from becoming Donald Trump’s top law enforcement officer.”

Jeff Sessions Finds the Inside Track

New York Times: “Mr. Sessions is in many ways Mr. Trump’s antithesis: reedy-voiced, diminutive and mild-mannered, a devout Methodist and an Eagle Scout who will soon celebrate a golden wedding anniversary with his college sweetheart. His father ran a country store in the Deep South. And he is widely regarded as rigidly honest and inflexible on issues he considers matters of principle. Mr. Trump has meandered across the political spectrum; Mr. Sessions has been a deeply conservative Republican his entire life.”

“But besides their age — both are 70 — Mr. Sessions shared one trait with Mr. Trump: He was an outsider, dismissed by much of the Republican Party as a fringe player on all but his signature issue, immigration. The two men unexpectedly bonded over their willingness to buck the establishment and the unlikely hope that lower-middle- and working-class voters would carry a billionaire to the White House.”

Huntsville Times: “The genial senator stands at the portal to enormous power. But a fierce confirmation hearing awaits.”