Thursday, March 29, 2018

Sessions will stay

I would rank Sessions as less likely to be fired than he is on this list.

Sure, Trump has railed about Sessions and firing him would make the new AG (or acting AG) someone who isn't recused from the Mueller inquiry and could fire the independent counsel if Trump ordered it. But if Sessions is fired, then Rosenstein would become acting AG and he is the guy who is already not firing Mueller. So getting rid of Sessions doesn't do Trump any favors with the Mueller investigation that he would not already get with just firing Rosenstein. While Trump could appoint a new AG to outrank Rosenstein, that nominee is going to have a rough time getting confirmed, much harder than Sessions did because of the ongoing Mueller investigation and Sessions barely got confirmed when Trump was still new, not as scandal-ridden, and with Session's extra juice he got from being a Senate colleague to the people who got to make the confirmation vote.

Perhaps more importantly, Sessions has not fallen out of favor with the people who Trump goes to for advice. The president may rail about his AG's alleged betrayals, but the people around Trump know that they are not going to get a more Trumpy AG than this guy. I know the idea that Sessions is a goner is somewhat conventional wisdom, but I just don't buy it. Unless he is indicted in the Mueller investigation, he will stay.