It is no secret that the Trump administration’s cabinet picks have been to date an ethical menagerie of epically disastrous proportions.
From openly racist lawmakers to billionaire, pay-to-play executives, unqualified would-be presidents to white nationalist leaders, Donald Trump has effectively surrounded himself and directly influenced the future of the country by the antithesis of intellectual, economical and ideological American progress.
Policy and belief systems aside for the moment, let’s examine the most recent, egregious instance of moral ambiguity to come out of the president’s cabinet.
In Congressional testimony questioning between Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn) and the now newly-minted Attorney General, known “too-racist-to-be-a-Federal-Judge” Jeff Sessions outright denied under oath before Congress whether “anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign.”
Sessions was, in fact, highly involved in the new president’s campaign and remained throughout one of his most active and vocal supporters in government.
“Sen. Franken, I’m not aware of any of those activities,” Sessions answered. “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”
We now know this to be a lie.
Confronted with the allegations, Sessions’ office responded that the AG “never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign.” But an anonymous White House official confirmed to a New York Times reporter that Sessions and the Russian ambassador did talk and “had superficial comments about election-related news.”
Sessions’ spokeswoman later changed the AG’s position completely, admitting that Sessions often spoke with “foreign ambassadors as a senior member of the Armed Services Committee.” The problem with this rationale is that no other member of the Armed Services Committee spoke with Russian officials anytime in 2016. Sessions was literally the only one.
We reached all 26 members of the 2016 Armed Services Committee to see who met with Russian envoy Kislyak in 2016. Sessions was the only one.
— Adam Entous (@adamentous) March 2, 2017
Recusal not enough
In a partial admission of guilt, Sessions on Thursday announced that he would recuse himself “from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns” for president in 2016.
Aside from his self-recusal, Sessions insists that he did not lie to Congress; which begs the question: “then why recuse yourself, Jeff?” He certainly isn’t getting pressured from up on high, as the White House has all but dismissed the matter altogether.
With investigations of Russia’s involvement in the election and its ties to the Trump campaign/administration being demanded from Congressional Democrats and even some Republicans, it’s clear that an impartial and independent prosecutor must be at the helm. Obviously, Sessions cannot be allowed to investigate himself; nor can he oversee anyone else at the Department of Justice.
Impact is always greater than intent
With the ever-evolving concern of Russia’s involvement and its hold over the Oval Office continuing throughout our daily news cycles, Sessions’ knowledge and participation in said involvement becomes an issue of national security.
Whether it was a misunderstood question, a little white lie or a vast intergovernmental conspiracy, the weight of the current Attorney General’s statements and past actions are a detriment to finding out the truth.
Not only can he not conduct the investigation, he must remain entirely disconnected from any government agency involved in the investigation – especially when it very well may indict him even further.
Yet another Cabinet member unfit to serve
Even if the fact that Sessions lied before Congress continues to be debated (because, you know, “alternative facts” and “fake news” and all that), the American Bar maintains strict rules pertaining to professionalism that Sessions literally just broke.
Jeff Sessions was appointed by Trump and condoned by a Republican Congress to be the nation’s top lawyer and prosecutor. Should he not be held to the highest of standards to which all beneath him would adhere?
Of course he should. His statements and positions regarding Russia and his own self-recusal immediately disqualify him, regardless of the extent of his deception. Sessions’ violation of his ethical obligations as a lawyer make him unfit to serve as Attorney General.Click here for reuse options!
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