Republicans are trying to make the question, “Should he recuse himself from investigating himself?” When the real question is, “Should we hold a trial over Session’s perjury after he steps down?”
Republicans have their talking point, and it’s that AG Jeff Sessions might want to maybe recuse himself from the Russia probe. If he wants to. Because patriotism.
Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Morning Joe that AG Sessions should recuse himself from Russian investigation, but he doesn’t want to prejudge. I mean, maybe it’s cool for Sessions to be in charge of an investigation that would implicate him, right?
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) March 2, 2017
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, tweeted, “AG Sessions should clarify his testimony and recuse himself.”
AG Sessions should clarify his testimony and recuse himself
— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) March 2, 2017
Rob Portman (R-OH), Darrell Issa (R-CA) and more followed suit with the GOP talking point of “recuse himself.”
Yes, we should leave it up to Sessions to decide. What is perjury anyway? Oh, perjury is that thing that Jeff Sessions said meant a trial for President Clinton, and the loss of his job if guilty. But not so much when it comes to a Republican lying under oath about his talks with Russia.
Speaker Paul Ryan scoffed at the idea that Sessions should even recuse himself.
Ryan doesn't see need for Sessions to recuse himself at the moment, says "Democrats are lighting their hair on fire" to get media to cover
— Erica Werner (@ericawerner) March 2, 2017
When pundits say “we are a divided country”, what they leave out is that the division comes from moments like this, which have been repeated for decades now, but are picking up steam recently under President Trump.
Here we have Republicans putting party first. They did this under President Obama, vowing to obstruct him no matter what at a time when the nation was in crisis and people needed Congress to help. Republicans did nothing, just to try to stick it to Obama. Republicans did the same to President Clinton, finally resorting to trying to impeach him over lying about a consensual sexual act.
When Democrats find one of their own misbehaving, they drop them like a hot potato, sometimes too soon. Democrats have little loyalty to their own if asked to choose between their party and their country. Sometimes this is problematic, especially when the other party is planting fake stories in the news — like the fake emails that fake implicated Obama and Clinton in Benghazi.
The “country is divided” is like saying of a man who regularly beats his wife within an inch of her life, “They fight a lot.” No, they don’t fight a lot; he chooses to abuse his partner and terrorize her. The same thing is going on with the Democrats and Republicans. The country isn’t divided; one side has become a lying, abusive partner who feels the rules don’t apply to them but holds their partner to an insane level of accountability.
Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer said Thursday morning, “For the good of the country, Attorney General Sessions should resign.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 2, 2017
Meanwhile, back at the GOP Ranch of Denial, Republicans are conceding – and then walking back – that they are calling for Sessions to recuse himself.
Oh, but not calling for him to recuse himself, rather leaving it up to him, because if he lies under oath about something so serious, surely he’s trustworthy. No need to ask why he was talking to Russia or to consider the implications of leaving such a compromised person as the nation’s top prosecutor.
Who better, really, to lead the DOJ than someone who lies under oath? Who better to enforce the laws of the United States federal government than one who feels himself above the law. This is the Republican Party’s current modus operandi.
This is why the country doesn’t work very well. Republicans are always putting party first, even when it comes to a hostile foreign aggressor.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.