After criticizing Attorney General Jeff Sessions Monday as "beleaguered" and rolling his eyes when asked about Sessions during a White House photo op later in the day, Donald Trump is reportedly mulling a replacement for Sessions as part of an effort to ultimately kneecap the Russia probe. The Washington Post writes:
President Trump and his advisers are privately discussing the possibility of replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and some confidants are floating prospects who could take his place were he to resign or be fired, according to people familiar with the talks.
Members of Trump’s circle, including White House officials, have increasingly raised the question among themselves in recent days as the president has continued to vent his frustration with the attorney general, the people said.
Replacing Sessions is seen by some Trump associates as potentially being part of a strategy to fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and end his investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly.
Trump kicked Monday off with some suggested ways for his Attorney General to weasel his way back into Trump's good graces.
At the same time, rumors began flying about who might replace Sessions, with some speculating that Rudy Giuliani is a consideration. But...
Giuliani told CNN on Monday that he did not want the post and would have recused himself had he been in Sessions’ position.
Nothing like having your trial balloon shot down publicly on cable TV.
Currently, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is overseeing the Russia investigation but there's some speculation that the responsibility could ultimately fall to Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand if Rosenstein recuses himself over the inquiry into James Comey's firing. If Sessions were to resign or be fired, the succession could like this:
Trump could order Rosenstein — and then Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand — to fire Mueller. If they quit instead of doing so, he could appoint an acting attorney general who would. Trump could also appoint an acting attorney general with them in place — effectively passing over Rosenstein and Brand — and order that person to remove the special counsel.
Trump’s authority to jump Rosenstein and Brand, though, is murky. The Justice Department has issued opinions in the past saying both that such a move is and isn’t permissible.
No matter how you slice this thing, Trump's bound and determined to push us into a Constitutional crisis over the Russia probe. He's just that stupid and just that desperate to end the investigation into whether he's even a legitimate president.
Hold on to your hats, folks.