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An Eye on the White House


March 03, 2017

The Rise (and Fall?) of Jeff Sessions

jeff sessions

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) makes opening remarks to a panel of Department of Homeland Security officials. (CBP Photo by Glenn Fawcett)

It was just over one year ago that Jeff Sessions first rose in defense of Donald Trump.

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III was among the President’s earliest and most stalwart allies. This was a surprisingly bold move for once-Senator, who was not known for being a gambling man. But the risk paid off in spades. Jeff Sessions now sits at the office of the highest law enforcement official in the country.

At 70-years-old, Jeff Sessions is deceptively mild.

He hails for a tiny town north of Mobile, Alabama, tucked away in the Southern hills. He is sweet-mannered and short-statured. He comes off as the proprietor of some wholesome establishment on a straight spot in the road, who gratefully chats up the visitors who stop by on the way to a better place.

How did this southern charm worm its way into the heart of the Trump administration? Despite their superficial differences, President Trump and Senator Sessions have much in common. Jeff Sessions is a debt hawk and military hawk, tough on crime and skeptical of the changing climate. His blood runs redder than his President’s, and has for far longer.

Sessions did not celebrate the anniversary of his pledge with much enthusiasm.

February brought a never-ending storm of controversies month for the fledgling administration, drowning out any potentially positive notes. President Trump typically thrives under heavy rain, but even the man himself is looking weathered these days.

Of course, the Attorney General did not waver in his support. He was glad to defend the wide-scale immigration ban that generated cries of racism and fascism from much of the American public. Jeff Sessions proudly wears the title of amnesty’s worst enemy, which he earned from his long history of fighting nearly every immigration bill that has come before the Senate since the 1990’s. The forces of assimilation, as he calls them, have a fearsome foe in Jefferson Sessions.

But the idea of march brought misfortune for the Attorney General. At first glance, there is nothing wrong with a senator sitting down to talk with the Russian ambassador. But denying that meeting under oath is a grave political sin.

Now, there is a mark on Jeff Sessions.

Whether the Southern gentleman can redeem himself is yet to be seen. Lying to the public is one thing – lying to the president is a whole other beast. We know what happens to loyal allies who are alleged to have betrayed to their President.

His long history with Trumpland should tilt the odds in his favor. But Jefferson Sessions is no gambler.