Shed tears and lower your Confederate flags if you must…Jeff Sessions, our Attorney General until he was fired by President Donald J. Trump a few days ago, is the latest guy in Trump’s vaunted brain trust to get canned by Il Duce. Irony dwells here. Yes, the Alabama dweeb who was the first Senator to back Donald J. Trump in his bid for the presidency, became the first post-midterm election casualty in the Trump Administration’s dizzying in-and-out shuffle of the “best people.” One fears they will soon run out of recruits to join the GOP Legion of the Fallen. Don’t despair. This swamp has no bottom.
The firing, of course, was neither surprising nor without cause...in Trump’s mind anyway. Sessions had recused himself (properly so according to Department of Justice rules) from meddling in the Mueller investigation into Trump’s possible collusion with Russia in fixing our 2016 national election. Not prudent. Not in the Court of King Trump.
Others—commoners like us—might have our own reasons for wanting Jeff gone: his opposition to civil rights his entire political life; his “no tolerance” policy in separating Central American refugee parents and children at our southern border; his “reefer-madness-era” war on all drugs even as much of the nation is relaxing it laws on their use; his lying before a Senate committee that he had not met with any Russians during then 2016 election campaign.
As for that crisis upon us...behold Trump’s day-one quick pick of a successor to Jeff Sessions: meet Mathew Whitaker, far-right political hack from Iowa, defeated candidate for senator from Iowa, in the running for sycophant of the year, who sports some mighty strange beliefs and took some mighty dubious actions.
He believes that Marbury versus Madison, the 1803 landmark decision that put the Supreme Court on equal footing with the legislative and executive branches of government and preserved our balance of powers, was wrongly decided.
He believes that states have the right to nullify federal law, an issue that most thinking folks consider dead now, resolved with the conclusion of the Civil War.
He has for over a year, in written and spoken words, claimed that Mueller leads a “lynch mob,” and that Trump is innocent of all charges made against him without seeing any of the evidence in Mueller’s probe; as Attorney General, of course, he would oversee Mueller’s investigation with the means to stop it in its tracks.
He is not popular with the voters, twice proven. In 2002 he ran for Iowa’s State Treasurer and lost to the Democrat, 55% to 43%; in 2014 he ran in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate and finished a dismal fourth, tallying less than 8% of the vote.
He has the reputation of being a sycophant non pareil, a singular qualification with Trump and his neo-fascist cronies.
He’s on the record that he opposes “secular judges,” and that judges should “have a biblical view of justice.” The Constitution says something quite different about mixing church and state.
Most concerning to many, he was a board member of, and worked for, World Patent Marketing, a Florida-based firm that bilked its clients and threatened those who complained of their treatment. The scammers were ordered by the Federal Trade Commission to close its doors this May and pay $26 million in fines. Whitaker did not respond to FTC subpoenas regarding his participation. The FBI is currently investigating the World Patent Marketing fraudsters.
Finally, legal scholars of many political persuasions concur that Whitaker’s appointment is unconstitutional. Under the Constitution’s “advise and consent” clause, filling a position as high as Acting Attorney General requires Senate approval, and Whitaker lacks that.
President Trump was asked about his appointee’s sketchy past as he boarded his flight to Paris to join world leaders in observance of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. He dodged the question with the lie (quelle surprise!) that he had never met Whitaker (he said he had a month earlier), then reportedly spent his weekend in the City of Light as a grouchy loner at odds with the rest of the world (except, of course, for dear Vlad, with whom he was all smiles).
Today he’s home again and mad as hell. The election didn’t go his way. The voting was rigged, as it is whenever it goes against him and the Russians aren’t able to help him out. The Democrats have control of the House with all its investigative powers. Acting Attorney General Whitaker makes the perfect first target. Can Trump be far behind?
Get ready for a major rumble! And pray for the survival of our Constitution.