‘Pissed’ Sessions Refuses To Resign





Attorney General Jeff Sessions seems to have lost favor with President Trump, but even embattled by friendly fire, Sessions seems to have no intention of going anywhere. Although he has faced withering attacks by the president, Sessions has the support of many conservatives and cabinet members.

The Washington Post reports that Jody Hunt, Sessions’ chief of staff, recently told Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, that Sessions had no intention of stepping down. Hunt reportedly said that Sessions “plans to move forward with his agenda in the department and he has no plans for resigning.”

With Sessions firmly in place, the question becomes whether President Trump is angry enough to fire Sessions himself. When reporters asked this question of Trump, he answered, “We’ll see what happens,” the same phrase he used prior to firing FBI Director James Comey.

Trump’s problems with Sessions stem from the attorney general’s decision to recuse himself from matters dealing with Russia’s meddling in the US presidential elections. Sessions made the decision to recuse himself in March after it was revealed that he did not disclose two meetings with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.



“I’m disappointed in the attorney general,” Trump said. “If he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me prior to taking office and I would have picked somebody else. It’s a bad thing not just for the president, but also for the presidency. I think it’s unfair to the presidency.”

Trump also criticized other areas of Sessions’ performance in a series of tweets. The president accused Ukrainians of working to help Hillary’s campaign and asked why Sessions was not investigating the Ukrainian meddling. He also accused Sessions of being weak on Hillary’s crimes and leakers.

It is unprecedented for a sitting president to attack a sitting cabinet member so harshly.

The Post reports that senior aides are encouraging the president to sit down with Sessions so that the two can work out their differences. So far, these efforts have been fruitless.

As the attacks go on, it will become harder to repair the damage between the president and the nation’s top lawyer. Even though Sessions is digging in his heels, his allies say that he is angry with how the president is treating him.

“Sessions is totally pissed off about it,” said a Sessions ally in the Daily Beast. “It’s beyond insane. It’s cruel and it’s insane and it’s stupid.”

Loyalty SHOULD Be a Two-Way Street, Mr. President





Loyalty should be a two-way street.

It’s what most people expect, as a general rule, and if they doubt they have it from their employer, they begin to look somewhere else. At the very least, the quality of their work suffers. In some cases, they may even take steps to cover themselves, since they know their employer does not have their back.

If President Trump is having a problem with loyalty within the ranks of his Cabinet, he need look no further for the root of the issue than the mirror.

As Erick pointed out earlier this morning, Trump’s treatment of one of his most loyal allies, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has pretty much alerted everyone else that they are all walking on thin ice.

Nobody wants to work like that.

While speaking on Fox News Monday night, another of Trump’s most faithful mouthpieces came to the defense of Jeff Sessions.

While pointing out what a mistake it would be to fire Sessions, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich noted the most obvious:

“Sessions was the first senator to endorse Trump,” Gingrich said. “Sessions stayed with Trump when he was 10 points behind during the whole taping of the conversation about sex and all that stuff. Jeff Sessions has been loyal all the way through.”

Indeed.

Sessions was the first one on board with a Trump candidacy (and I still wonder why), even writing the immigration policy paper for him early on.

Some would even say that policy paper was key to getting Trump noticed, rather than shuttled off onto the ash heap of other “novelty” political candidates, meant more for shock value than to ever be legitimately competitive.

Gingrich also pointed out the continued good work Sessions is doing as attorney general, striking hard at sanctuary cities, and working with Homeland Security to tamp down the problem with dangerous gangs, such as MS-13.

Gingrich went on:

“I would just point out loyalty is a two-way street,” Gingrich said. “There’s a point here where people have to say the guy was with you from the very beginning and he makes one big mistake? You really dump him? And if you do, what signal do you send to everybody else on the team?”

Except Sessions didn’t make “one big mistake.” He did the right thing in recusing himself from all investigations Russia-related.

Having fallen under scrutiny himself for undisclosed conversations with the Russian ambassador, it would have been the height of unprofessional behavior for him to continue on as the head over those matters, and he left those decisions in the very capable hands of his Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Sessions is now being punished for not preemptively protecting the president from shooting himself in the foot.

Let’s not forget the timeline of the investigation being carried out by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Mueller was not assigned until after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, then went on national TV to cut the legs out from under his own spokespeople, and said openly that Comey was fired because of the Russia probe.

Trump is his own worst enemy, but just like the emperor with no clothes, who in his close circle is going to tell him?

He is on a destructive trajectory. Continuing to attack his most loyal and capable allies will eventually leave him in a position with no one to back him up.

And almost as if to put an exclamation point to the end of this article, Trump’s very public attacks on Sessions began afresh this morning.

No true leader acts like this.

Cabinet Level Revolt Over Trump’s Treatment of Jeff Sessions. “A Clusterf**k” One Secretary Calls It.




“If he can get treated that way, what about the rest of us?” one of the President’s Cabinet secretaries asked me with both shock and anger in his voice. I am told reports about Rex Tillerson (not who I talked to) are legitimate. He is quite perturbed with the President’s treatment of his Attorney General and is ready to quit. Secretary Mattis (also not who I talked to) is also bothered by it. They and other Cabinet members are already frustrated by the slow pace of appointments for their staffs, the vetoes over qualified people for not being sufficiently pro-Trump, and the Senate confirmation pace.

In fact, the Cabinet secretary I talked to raised the issue of the White House staff vetoes over loyalty, blasting the White House staff for blocking qualified people of like mind because they were not pro-Trump and now the President is ready to fire the most loyal of all the Cabinet members. “It’s more of a clusterf**k than you even know,” the Cabinet secretary tells me about dealing with the White House on policy. It is not just Tillerson ready to bail.



Jeff Sessions was with President Trump early. He was the earliest member of the Senate and the earliest politician of his prominence to come out in support of President Trump. He had his back repeatedly, defended the absurd, and is in the mess he is in because he took on so many duties within the campaign to help the President when few even thought Trump could win.

And he is being rewarded by a President throwing him under the bus. Neither the Cabinet secretary I talked to nor anyone else in the White House I talked to believes the Washington Post story about Jeff Sessions meeting with Russians came from anywhere other than the White House. “The President does not like to fire people, believe it or not,” a senior White House staffer told me. “But putting the AG in an untenable position could get him to quit. The President is passive aggressive.” (See e.g. his recent treatment of Priebus over the Scaramucci hiring)1

If the President does fire Sessions, he is going to undermine the morale and confidence of his Cabinet secretaries who have the power to undermine his agenda. Tossing the most loyal of cabinet secretaries because he had to recuse himself on the Russia matter, which itself is a self-inflicted wound by the President and no one else, would send a very strong message to the rest of the Cabinet and many others that the President will not show reciprocal loyalty.

And that is the point of the Secretary with whom I spoke. Not every one of the Cabinet members supported Trump. Some of them even were put off by him through the general election. And of those who were with him loyally, none was more loyal than Sessions. It’s a good point. If this could happen to the most loyal of all the Cabinet members, God help the rest of them.


1. Worth noting that Jeff Sessions gave up a cushy seat in the Senate to which he would have been easily reelected to serve as AG and underwent a grueling Senate confirmation fight and substantial attacks on his character. That makes me think he really would not want to quit.

Ouch: Trump Says He Regrets Hiring Attorney General Jeff Sessions

The relationship between Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions may be awkward for a while after the president aired his grievances for the world to hear.

“Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Trump lamented in an interview with the New York Times – he is not at all pleased with his attorney general.

What is Trump livid about exactly?

The president feels Attorney General Jeff Sessions should have never recused himself from overseeing the Russia investigation. Sessions’ self-removal from the probe has led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel – expanding the investigation and further incensing Trump.

The rift could result in a huge blow to Sessions’ career. A former US attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, the tea party conservative was the first senator to endorse Trump during the 2016 election- to the chagrin of many of his Republican colleagues. The two went on to have a great relationship on the campaign trail. After Trump’s election victory, a prestigious White House appointment for Sessions was expected.

That relationship soured after mounting allegations of Russia-Trump collusion.

Sessions had testified during his Senate confirmation hearing that he had no contact with Russian officials (as a representative of the Trump team) during the 2016 campaign. Not long after, several news outlets reported that Sessions, had in fact, met with Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak and he failed to disclose this during his confirmation hearing. Despite the fact that Sessions had met with Kislyak as a member of the US Senate – not as a representative of the Trump campaign – liberal critics continued to cry foul. Sessions subsequently made the decision to remove himself from the investigation entirely.

What happens now?

It’s hard to imagine Sessions wanting to continue his work leading the Justice Department under such circumstances. Who wants to work for a boss that publicly announces regret in hiring you?  The attorney general had already offered his resignation to Trump earlier this summer when he initially recused himself. Trump had declined his offer.

Sources close to Axios claim that Sessions does really love his job despite the drama. The nation’s top prosecutor is reportedly elated at going after sanctuary cities, locking up bad guys and supporting law enforcement. The two men are in lockstep as far as policy is concerned.

It’s hard to guess how things will turn out. Predictions on Sessions’ possible departure are mixed.

Should Sessions quit, the acting head of the Justice Department would become Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Shame on Jeff Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has long prided himself on asking if things are constitutional before proceeding, but the constitutionality of his desires has run crashing into his law and order views. He has decided to expand a positively unconstitutional policy that should be ruthlessly fought in courts and legislatures around the country. Jeff Sessions wants to seize the property of Americans accused of crimes even if they are never found guilty by a jury.

Civil asset forfeiture has long been the government’s preferred means to confiscate property from suspected drug dealers and others. The problem, however, is that often the person is found not innocent by a jury and the assets are unrecoverable. According to the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, the Drug Enforcement Agency alone has seized more than $3 billion from people not charged with a crime.

In one case in 2016, Oklahoma police seized $53,000 owned by a Christian band, an orphanage and a church after stopping a man on a highway for a broken taillight. A few years earlier, a Michigan drug task force raided the home of a self-described “soccer mom,” suspecting she was not in compliance with the state’s medical marijuana law. They proceeded to take “every belonging” from the family, including tools, a bicycle and her daughter’s birthday money.

What is appalling here is that many states are enacting prohibitions on civil asset forfeiture, but the Attorney General wants to allow state and local law enforcement to use federal asset forfeiture laws to continue seizing property. Local law enforcement will thereby be able to get around their own states’ laws, so long as they share the spoils of their ill gotten gains with the federal government. This turns the concept of federalism on its head.

It amounts to state sponsored piracy against the American people, is unconstitutional, and the President should restrain his Attorney General. Frankly, given the hostility of the state of New York towards the President, he ought to curtail this now before Governor Cuomo and the Attorney General of New York use this on Trump, Inc.

Trip Pittman On Philosophy And Running For The US Senate: “Liberty Requires Responsibility”

The following interview and analysis is part of our continuing series of exclusive articles on the special US Senate election in Alabama, and the surrounding drama.  About the Author: Trey Edwards is a conservative GOP strategist that works in Alabama. Analysis and opinions are his alone. 

A couple weeks ago, we conducted an interview with Alabama State Senator Trip Pittman (R-Baldwin County), who is one of several Republican candidates running for the US Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he was appointed to the position of Attorney General by President Trump.

Trip Pittman jumped into the race at the last minute, throwing a wrench into the proceedings for many of the other candidates. See, he is the only credible candidate running that lives south of Montgomery. While up to half a dozen candidates are competing with rivals practically living in their back yard, Trip is the only candidate with a geographic advantage in Mobile and Baldwin county, two of the top five counties with the most Republican voters in the state. This potentially gives him an early advantage that he could use to springboard himself into a deeply divided field. What ultimately ends up happening remains to be seen, but all eyes are on this special election, and it will be a fascinating one to watch, no matter what happens.

The first thing Senator Pittman will tell you when you meet him is that he’s a businessman – he owns Pittman Tractor Company, which he founded in 1998. They work with customers in Alabama and worldwide. He was born in Birmingham, but moved to Baldwin County at the age of eleven. He got his degree from the University of Alabama, majoring in General Management, while serving in the ROTC program, through which he received a commission in the Army National Guard upon graduation. He served for 5 years with Troop E, 31st Armored Division out of Slyacauga. He met his wife Lynn in Mobile, and they have three adult children – a teacher, an engineer, and a nurse. He served on the Commission for Higher Education from 1994 to 2005. In 2007, he survived a plane crash, and ended up spending nine days in the hospital recovering and re-evaluating his priorities in life. According to him, it was in this moment that he decided to transition into public service and run for office. Almost immediately after his recovery, then-State Senator (now Congressman) Bradley Byrne resigned from his seat after receiving an appointment from Governor Riley.

“I got into a race that was very similar to this one,” Senator Pittman told me. “There were five candidates. All of them had run for political office… At the end of the day, I didn’t receive any endorsements. Didn’t take any PAC money. Ended up winning in a runoff against the establishment candidate with all the Montgomery support. I came to Montgomery and governed, I’ve been in a leadership role, I’ve been the Budget chairman, I’ve balanced every budget that I’ve managed, paid back debt, defeated AEA and passed tenure reform, passed a separate board for the two-year college system… I’ve always supported term limits, so I made the decision to lead by example and step down after two full terms and one partial term in the State Senate. With the election of Donald Trump and subsequent appointment of Jeff Sessions as US Attorney General, and then the appointment of Luther Strange by Governor Bentley, we’ve ended up with a special election.”

“I decided to put my name in the hat and qualify and give the people of Alabama a choice on who they think would be the best person to represent them.” And with that, we were off to the races.

One of the main policy focuses by Senator Pittman during his terms of service, especially as chair of the Education and General Fund Budget Committees at different times, has been reducing fraud and waste across the board. In fact, he led the fight to pass a bill in the legislature to require people to pass a drug test to get access to PANF government benefits.

“I’ve led the fight on opposing the expansion of Medicaid. We can’t afford to cover more people when we can’t afford to take care of the people that we have.”

“Until you systemically change the rules and regulations that are coming down from the Federal Government, it doesn’t matter how much you put towards Medicaid or towards mental health, or towards corrections.”

Later on, he brought up an issue that I didn’t even realize existed: “We have a million people over 100 years old getting social security,” he explained. “The problem is, there’s only 10,000 people over a hundred years old in the country. We have all these people out there getting benefits that are for somebody else.”

One of the first things that became clear to me as I talked with Senator Pittman is that he’s far more than a businessman. He’s also a policy nerd. Economics is a passion of mine, and we struck up a lively conversation about free markets and individual liberty. “I think the moniker of the Republican Party should become ‘Liberty Requires Responsibility.’ In fact, the Baldwin County Republican Party, at my suggestion, adopted that moniker a couple years ago. The idea that you can have liberty without being responsible is something that will never happen, because ultimately then you are dependent on somebody else to take care of you. And, while we are compassionate and want to help people, we ultimately want to embrace the fact that we want to help everybody be responsible that’s able bodied so that we can take care of the truly needy, and help people to be successful in the free enterprise system. And that’s why I’m running – to help encourage that. To speak to that.”

I remembered that he ran as a Ron Paul delegate back in 2012 – the first time I’d ever seen his name on a ballot, since I live on the other side of the state. I asked him if he saw himself as being in the philosophically libertarian wing of the Republican Party.

“I do,” he responded.  “The libertarians came from the Republican Party in the early 70s when Nixon put on price controls and took us off the gold standard,” he continued. “Philosophically, I align with Dr. Paul and what he believes in. Now, I’m also a realist, as a businessman, and as someone that’s been involved in governing. […] I would submit to people that you  don’t get more conservative after you get elected. I have shown that I have stayed true to my values by standing up against unfair advantages and tax credits – even though I’ve agreed to some, under certain conditions, because I thought they were needed in order to jump-start certain sectors. But I’ve always believed that incentives need to be limited, they need to be sunset, and they need to be targeted. I believe in serving the military, certainly, so I believe in the need for a strong defense. But I think we need to be a lot more careful in terms of what we do and how we do it. I was opposed to the Iraqi war. I felt like, at the end of the day, that we needed to go into Afghanistan to kill the terrorists, but what we did in Iraq was under false pretenses. We’ve got ourselves involved in a lot of wars under less than total facts. […] I believe that we should be careful. In fact, I believe that, beyond the War Powers Act, we should not be putting our men and women in uniform into harm’s way for extended periods of time without a declaration of war.”

This philosophy applies to all aspect of policies for Pittman:

“If you want to know my philosophy, I grew up reading the Foundation of Economic Education… I’m an Austrian. I believe in the free markets. That’s my base. That’s my core values. That’s who Trip Pittman is. At the end of the day, that’s what I’m running as. You know, I want to win, I’m running to win… but we need to have a debate about this.”

“Compassion can be exhibited in a lot of ways, but a nation that has people that are successful can take care of the environment. A nation that is successful can take care of people that have maladies or have problems.”

“The idea that socialism works is absurd, it’s a race to the bottom. If you want to look at examples – people like to look at islands like Madagascar and Easter Island and the Galapagos, and Australia. Look at Taiwan. Look at Cuba. Look at where those countries have come in the last 40 years. Look at a satellite view of North Korea versus South Korea. Look at the lights. Look at the economy. Let’s see what works and what doesn’t work. It’s self evident. […] Free enterprise is the tide that lifts all boats.”

“At the end of the day, you know, innovation and profit motive have created Adam Smith’s invisible hand. This is about people improving their condition in life. It’s like the environment, the history of the world has been man against nature. Finally, in the last 100 years, we’ve gotten to a point where we’re kind of able to break even in some cases.”

The US Senate hopeful takes pride in his consistency:

“I may be a son of a gun, but I’m not a hypocrite.”

His passion to remaining philosophically consistent attracted some negative attention to him in the recently concluded legislative session. He was the only member of either house to vocally and actively oppose a bill that mandated that in-state insurance companies cover some specific procedures related to autistic disorders. He opposed the bill even after it failed to get a single “no” vote in the House, which is controlled by a Republican supermajority. He managed to get several changes to the bill passed in the Senate. After the session wrapped up, he wrote a lengthy op-ed on the topic that I think demonstrates the State Senator’s careful and thoughtful approach to policy, regardless of where you stand on the issue.

Beyond policy, Senator Pittman went into great depth with me about how he felt about the appointment of Luther Strange, who is currently holding the seat, and who is being treated as an incumbent by Mitch McConnell, whose PACs have already spent well over $2 Million supporting him . Pittman explained, “There is a code for prosecutors that say they will not accept anything from people that they are investigating.” […] “The facts are: The Attorney General’s office was investigating Governor Bentley. There was an impeachment move in the House. The Attorney General went to the House Impeachment Committee Chairman, Representative Jones, and told him to stand down because his office was handling it. Subsequent to that, after Attorney General Strange interviewed for the position, and was appointed, he said there was not an investigation, and that he did not ask the House to stand down. And then after he was appointed and Governor Bentley appointed the new Attorney General, [Steve] Marshall, he (Marshall) in fact verified that there was, in fact, an investigation that had already been started under Attorney General Strange’s term, and the was recusing himself and appointing a special counsel. I don’t see how you can be more clear. I think there’s reporters that have written more concisely the timeline and the actual course of events.”

One of those reporters is actually us here at The Resurgent. We’ve covered the corruption scandals surrounding Governor Bentley extensively. You can catch up by reading my recent summary piece here.

As for Strange’s campaign rhetoric to date, Senator Pittman was equally unambivalent:

“Luther Strange spent nine years in Washington as a lobbyist. So you’re going to send someone to Washington that’s been a lobbyist to drain the swamp? As Mo Brooks says, he’s a swamp critter.”

He says he is running to provide a different approach to the issues facing our state and our nation:

“What I can promise to the people of Alabama is that I’m going to do the same thing in Washington that I did in Alabama – that I’m going to go up there and put the light of day on what’s going on. I’m not going to play games. They deserve someone that’s going to go up there and call balls and strikes, and call it like it is, and quit letting people play games, and think about and say why they can’t do stuff. At the end of the day, we owe it to the American people to try to accomplish things that will revive our economy, and to be responsible, and to reward responsible behavior. Because when you reward irresponsible behavior, you get more irresponsible behavior.”

Final thoughts on the race?

“We need a debate. We don’t need a yes man.”

Trip Pittman is a policy-oriented businessman and veteran with a focus on individual liberties and free markets. He wants to cut waste and have a frank debate on issues. If you live in Alabama and that’s what you are looking for, he may be your guy. I’m not endorsing anyone, however – all I ask is that you don’t vote for Luther Strange. In fact, when people ask me who I’m supporting, I tell them I’m voting “Anybody But Luther.” But I’m just one guy. Do your research and make your own decisions. The election is on August 15th.

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Strained: Jeff Sessions Allegedly Offered to Resign in Frustration

Jeff Sessions was one of Donald Trump’s earliest and most ardent supporters on the campaign trail. Sessions jumped on the Trump train before any other member of the senate. When Trump brought Sessions along with him after his 2016 election win, nominating the Alabama senator to the post of Attorney General, it was expected.

Now there is tension between them, and some reports have suggested that Sessions may have offered to resign, in frustration.

The friction between the two men stems from the attorney general’s abrupt decision in March to recuse himself from anything related to the Russia investigation — a decision the president only learned about minutes before Sessions announced it publicly. Multiple sources say the recusal is one of the top disappointments of his presidency so far and one the president has remained fixated on.

Trump’s anger over the recusal has not diminished with time. Two sources close to the president say he has lashed out repeatedly at the attorney general in private meetings, blaming the recusal for the expansion of the Russia investigation, now overseen by Special Counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Sessions recused himself after he became entangled in the ever-widening web of suspicion of Trump associates who were being investigated for communications with Russian officials.

Sessions had conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. whose name has been involved with other Trump associates, Sergey Kislyak, during the election. Sessions failed to disclose those meetings during his confirmation hearings.

The meetings were said to be part of Sessions’ work as a member of the Senate armed services committee, and while that was within the scope of his authority, he still sought to calm any concerns by recusing himself from any part of the Russia investigation.

As former FBI Director James Comey prepares to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Trump could very well be looking for allies.

Sessions is not one he should want to lose.

BREAKING: “You’re Hired”? Leading Candidates to Replace Comey at FBI Report For Job Interview on Saturday

Ever since now-former FBI Director Jim Comey’s abrupt firing that shocked Washington D.C., a number of questions have swirled: Why was Comey fired? Was Comey really asked to pledge his loyalty to the President? Why does the White House keep changing its story? Will this lead to some sort of independent commission or special prosecutor? And what does this mean for the variety of investigations surrounding Russia?

 

But there is another immediate & pressing question that needs addressing as well: Who will replace Comey as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (our nation’s premiere law enforcement agency)? Well, in an exclusive from sources inside the White House, Fox News reports that it has obtained a list of the first four leading contenders, all of whom will be interviewing with the Attorney General & Deputy Attorney General on Saturday (May the 13th). From the report:

 

“The four candidates meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy Rod Rosenstein are: Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher, who used to work in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; the acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who recently testified before Congress about the agency’s Russia collusion investigation; Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the current Senate Majority Whip and former attorney general of Texas who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee; Judge Michael J. Garcia of the New York Court of Appeals, who previously served as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York. The administration is considering nearly a dozen candidates – a list that includes top current and former lawmakers as well as law enforcement figures – to replace fired FBI Director James Comey, a White House official briefed on the matter told Fox News on Friday.”

 

Whoever takes over will be stepping into a media firestorm and into a bright-as-the-sun spotlight with confirmation hearings that are assured to be full of high drama (both real and manufactured). Not to mention the fact that they will be put in charge of winning the trust of and guiding the 35,000 employees of the FBI, handling some of our nation’s most important investigations, enforcing the law, and safeguarding our national security. So who are these candidates, anyway?

 

THE FIRST FOUR BEING INTERVIEWED SATURDAY

 

Former Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher: She’s had a wide-ranging legal career and is currently a Managing Partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins LLP, the nation’s highest-grossing firm with business & political clients all over the world, where she focuses on criminal investigations, white collar crime, sanctions compliance, fraud, & international security law. She served as an Assistant Attorney General during the Bush administration starting in 2005 (most notably obtaining the Jack Abramoff plea deal) and she’s considered one of the best & most powerful female lawyers in the nation’s capital.

 

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe: He became the Deputy Director of the FBI on January 29, 2016 and assumed the role of Acting FBI Director when Comey was fired on Tuesday. He is dogged by a number of issues, however, including the fact that he contradicted the Trump administration to some extent during his testimony in front of the Senate intelligence committee on Thursday as well as the fact that he is under investigation by DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General over the fact that his wife received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from Clinton allies while he failed to recuse himself from the Clinton email server investigation. Prior to his roles as a deputy & an acting head, he worked out of the FBI’s New York Field Office as well as its Washington Field Office, and he held roles in the Counterterrorism Division and the National Security Branch, as well as leading the High-Value Interrogation Group that was formed in 2009 after the election of President Obama.

 

Texas Senator John Cornyn: He is the senior Senator from the state of Texas, serving in that capacity since 2002. He’s a current member of the Senate Judiciary Committee (including its Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, & Homeland Security where he had a recent run-in with former DNI James Clapper & former Acting AG Sally Yates). Prior to being a Senator, Cornyn served as the Texas Attorney General from 1998 til 2002. Before that, he was an Associate Justice for the Texas Supreme Court from 1991 til 1997, and before that he was a District Court Judge in Texas from 1985 til 1991. His legal experience spans nearly two decades as either a judge or attorney general plus over a decade and a half in the Senate working on issues related to law enforcement and national security.

 

New York Judge Michael J. Garcia: He has served as an Associate Judge on the New York Court of Appeals since February 8, 2016, after being appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Prior to that he had nearly a decade-long stint in private practice. His previous government experience is pretty extensive though: Assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1992 til 2001, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement in 2001 & 2002, Acting Commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in 2002 & 2003, Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement from 2003 til 2005, and then back to the Southern District of New York but this time as its lead US Attorney. He might be most widely known recently for his role as FIFA’s ethics prosecutor (a position he’d eventually resign), where he investigated massive allegations of corruption with soccer’s global body (it’s an incredibly fascinating & disheartening story, and the so-called “Garcia Report” still hasn’t been released).

 

OTHER LEADING CANDIDATES

 

A number of other potential candidates being mentioned who themselves won’t be at Saturday’s job interview with Attorney General Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosentein include: Representative Mike Rogers (a former FBI agent himself); Mayor John Suthers (a former federal prosecutor and now-mayor of Colorado Springs); George Terwilliger (a former deputy attorney general under George HW Bush, Comey-critic, and Republican activist); former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly (who directed the first World Trade Center bombing investigation in the 1990’s); Representative Trey Gowdy (who led the House Benghazi investigation); Paul Abbate (Assistant Director-in-Charge of the FBI); Chuck Rosenberg (the current head of the DEA); J. Michael Luttig (Executive VP of Boeing & a former judge on the appellate court); Ken Wainstein (the very first head of DOJ’s national security division); Larry Thompson (a Comey-critic and former deputy attorney general under George W. Bush); Mark Filip (also a former deputy attorney general as well as a federal judge and Scalia law clerk); Frances Townsend (a Bush homeland security adviser and former NY prosecutor); Michael Anderson (Chicago FBI agent-in-charge); Adam Lee (Richmond FBI agent-in-charge); Kelly Ayotte (former Senator from New Hampshire); Rudy Giuliani (former Mayor of NYC, Trump ally, & 2008 candidate in the Republican presidential primary); Chris Christie (current Governor of New Jersey and early Trump supporter); and even Merrick Garland (Obama’s former Supreme Court nominee for the seat left open by Antonin Scalia that has now been filled by Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch).

 

PICKING A SUCCESSOR

 

Over at National Review, they offer the following advice to President Trump as he decides who will succeed James Comey as head of the Bureau: “Trump now has the similar task of finding a new Justice Department official to succeed Comey. Trump can put to rest the allegations that Comey’s removal obstructs the investigation into the Russian connection by nominating a figure of impeccable credentials and personal integrity who will pledge to continue the investigation no matter where it leads. For that reason, we think that nominating a former elected politician would be a mistake, because that nominee’s every move would raise doubts about partisan motivation – fairly or not. Instead, Trump should pick a former prosecutor or Justice Department official with a reputation for independence and long experience in law enforcement, with few if any ties to the Trump campaign or the administration.” Whoever the pick ends up being, they will certainly have a monumental task in front of them as they work to restore faith & confidence as well as protect the nation. So let’s hope that they are a man or woman of superb skill & redoubtable integrity. The Bureau, and indeed the nation itself, deserves nothing less.