Sessions Is About Obstruction

Jim LoScalzo/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
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At one level this is obvious. But the bizarre behavior and sheer awkwardness of the situation can obscure a simple fact: the entirety of President Trump’s battle with Jeff Sessions is about obstructing the Russia probe. The anger began over his recusal (and grew as the consequences of that recusal became more apparent) and continues with the President’s desire to replace him with another Attorney General who will help him end the investigation or at least remove Robert Mueller from leading it. That is the only thing this is about.

In all other respects, Sessions is doing everything Trump could have asked for. Indeed, the near unanimity of conservative support for Sessions in this current battle is because Sessions is performing as a dream hard-right AG. He’s rolling back voting rights, turning back the very limited reforms of laws and policies behind mass incarceration, pushing a hard-right anti-immigrant agenda. Trump’s battle with Sessions is about obstruction. Nothing more, nothing less.

The following is a comment from a former federal prosecutor with extensive experience in public corruption cases.

The Sessions tweets and comments are nuts in so many ways. They are also incredibly stupid and self-defeating. Yes, he’s attacking the rule of law and undermining his own DOJ. That’s bad. He’s also continuing to build a case against himself in real time on Twitter and through public comments–and he doesn’t seem to realize it. The statements represent admissible state of mind/corrupt intent evidence that Mueller can and will use to continue to build an obstruction case. Why is he so upset Sessions recused? Why does he want someone running this investigation who he can control? For the same reason he fired Comey: Because he wants to shut the investigation down. Trump’s lawyers (at least the ones who understand federal criminal law) must be beside themselves. Meanwhile, the special counsel and his staff can just sit back and watch their case-in-chief get better and better. He can’t seem to help himself from acting guilty AF. Keep tweeting, Mr. President. Keep tweeting.

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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