President Donald Trump has continued his attacks on former Attorney General Jeff Sessions for following the advice of ethics experts in recusing himself from the Russian investigation. I was one of those favoring recusal as the proper decision for Sessions. He waited until the Justice Department experts made that recommendation and then took the proper step of recusal. Taking such ethical advice and removing oneself in the interests of his Department is neither weak nor stupid, as the President suggests. In a prior column, I criticized the sacking of Sessions and this attack only magnifies those concerns.
Trump appeared to take glee from the fact that Sessions failed to secure a majority of votes in Tuesday’s Alabama Senate primary. He is now in a runoff with former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville.
President Trump tweeted: “This is what happens to someone who loyally gets appointed Attorney General of the United States & then doesn’t have the wisdom or courage to stare down & end the phony Russia Witch Hunt . . . Recuses himself on FIRST DAY in office, and the Mueller Scam begins!”
I understand the frustration and anger over the origins of the Russian investigation. I was also a critic of that process. However, Sessions did not cause that investigation and did the right thing in recusing himself from an investigation into the Trump campaign. Many experts believed recusal was proper and, even if you disagree with the decision, it is outrageous to attack a man for doing what he believed as ethically required.