Attorney General Jeff Sessions‘ relationship with President Donald Trump is not exactly friendly anymore. That said, might it play a role in Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s probe? Investigators are looking into Trump’s apparent attempt to drive Sessions out of the job, according to a Washington Post story from Wednesday. Sources are described as “people familiar with the matter.” The New York Times already reported in January that Mueller was looking into Trump’s attempts to fire Sessions in spring 2017, but this new report says the special counsel is also investigating the time span in late July and early August 2017, when Trump tried to bully Sessions into resigning.
That was pretty tumultuous time for the president and the AG. That’s when the Times interviewed Trump, who criticized Sessions for recusing himself from the FBI’s probe into Russia interference in the 2016 election.
“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 said, calling the recusal “very unfair to the president.”
At the time, the president also sniped at Sessions on Twitter, especially as it concerned the DOJ’s handling for Hillary Clinton alleged mishandling of work emails as Secretary of State.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017
Normally, presidents can fire their cabinet members at will. However, the problem is whether Trump was attempting to obstruct justice by trying to get rid of Sessions, and replace him with someone who could control the investigation into Russian interference.
Spokespeople for the DOJ, Mueller’s office, and the White House didn’t comment in this WaPo story.
In any case, it’s not a good relationship. According to some WaPo sources, Trump has called Sessions “Mr. Magoo.”
Whether that’s true or not, the president sniped at his AG once again on Wednesday. Here’s the tweet:
Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2018
[Screengrab via MSNBC]