Joe Guzzardi, 3/3/2017 [Archive]

Behind the Jeff Sessions' Witch Hunt

Behind the Jeff Sessions' Witch Hunt

By Joe Guzzardi


Every time Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer or his House equivalent Nancy Pelosi scream outrage, rest assured that their end game is to delegitimize President Trump's administration and to delay his legislative progress on tax cuts, health legislation and immigration reform.

The most recent target for the perpetually frenzied Democrats is Attorney General Jeff Sessions who they accuse of lying under oath during his Senate confirmation hearings when he was asked about his contacts with the Russian government. The Democrats, along with their reliable allies The Washington Post and The New York Times, want America to believe, as Minnesota Senator Al Franken suggested during the hearing, that Sessions colluded with Russia during the 2016 campaign and lied about it. The Times editorial page proclaimed the story "a bombshell," but Texas Senator Ted Cruz more accurately labeled the storm surrounding Sessions a "nothing burger," and "political theater.",

Here's how Cruz arrived at his conclusion. Franken's question about Sessions' possible machinations with Russians included these words: "claimed to have," "allegedly," "alleging," "if it's true." In other words, Franken's question was hypothetical. Absent specific evidence that Sessions is guilty of wrong-doing, Schumer, Pelosi, Franken, et al, have no case. Moreover, Franken's inquiry was posed in the context of ongoing, core-election communications with Russians. But Sessions met with the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak while he was a U.S. Senator, a routine interaction between foreign dignitaries and congressional representatives. As an example of how common such meetings are, at least 30 Senate Democrats met with Russian officials in 2015 to promote President Obama's Iran deal.

Pelosi called Sessions a perjurer, and along with Schumer and dozens of other Democrats, demanded he resign. For his part, Sessions said that the fake news charges against him are "hyped beyond reason" and "unfair." President Trump said his Senate enemies are engaged in a "total witch hunt." In a move that doesn't appease his opposition, Sessions agreed to recuse himself from future Russia-related probes, but not quit his attorney general position. The Democrats' goal is an FBI investigation to determine if grounds for an indictment against Sessions exists, and to appoint an independent prosecutor to comprehensively examine his conduct, and to review the Trump administration's possible ties to Russia.

After a lengthy delay when Democrats spent weeks of exercising every procedural maneuver in the books to slow his confirmation, the Senate finally approved Sessions on February 9. The reason behind the snail's pace: Sessions represents the biggest threat to the Schumer-Pelosi-led open borders congressional faction.

The diametric opposite on immigration to Obama's attorney generals Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, Sessions will advise Trump to penalize sanctuary cities that harbor criminal aliens, secure the border, enforce immigration laws in the interior, eliminate visa fraud, and develop a more efficient plan to properly vet a slower influx of incoming refugees.

Voters are weary of manufactured non-scandals, personal attacks and leaks from Obama's White House holdovers. Sessions' recusal is the smart thing, but he won't resign. For Trump's critics, be they in Congress, the White House or the general public, there's no successful outcome. Trump has more than 98 percent of his presidency left to serve, and the smart money expects him to fulfill every day of it. The time has come for all who are "lighting their hair on fire," as House Speaker Paul Ryan accurately described the frenzied anti-Trump histrionics, to take a deep breath.

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Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org and on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

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