I share the frustration of many of my conservative and Republican colleagues over some of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decisions during the time he’s been running the Department of Justice. His decision to recuse himself on the absurd Russian collusion inquiry has absolutely led to a long, drawn-out witch hunt against Trump and his allies. He’s also previously pledged to recuse himself from any inquiries involving Hillary Clinton. In response to some criticisms by Trump, Sessions fired back that the Justice Department will not be “improperly influenced by political considerations.”
After eight years Obama, this pledge is incredibly refreshing. Earlier this month I wrote about six times the Obama administration should have appointed a special counsel to investigate various matters that the Obama administration either refused to investigate themselves, stonewalled congressional investigations on, or ran their own sham investigations into that miraculously found no wrongdoing by the administration. The Obama administration was shamelessly corrupt because Obama put hardcore loyalists in charge to protect him, and he, in turn, protected them. Obama notoriously declared documents relating to Fast & Furious as being protected by executive privilege to give Attorney General Eric Holder cover for withholding documents from congressional investigators. Loretta Lynch instructed FBI Director James Comey to soften his public language on the Clinton investigation, amongst other efforts to protect Obama’s heir apparent to the White House.
Those are the kinds of shenanigans you can expect when notorious radicals become the nation’s number one law enforcement officer. Neither one should have been confirmed in the first place. While a student at Columbia University, Eric Holder was the leader of a black separatist group that participated in a five-day armed takeover of an abandoned ROTC office on campus. Loretta Lynch is a racialist who believes “tough on crime” is merely code for “tough on blacks.” Their radical histories should have disqualified them without question. But instead, Obama got the loyalists he needed to repeatedly pervert our nation’s system of justice.
The Obama years should still be fresh enough in our minds for us to remember the rampant abuses and politicization of the Justice Department over his two terms. It’s especially hard for me to forget, having written two books detailing such abuses of power and repeated scandals. After eight years of Obama, things got so bad that high-level officials in the Justice Department and FBI have been fired and have lost security clearances because they allowed their political biases to taint their actions.
In 2014, Dinesh D’Souza was targeted for prosecution for a crime normally not prosecuted at all because he was an outspoken critic of Obama. Legal experts on both sides of the aisle suspected partisan motivations for the indictment. “This is an outrageous prosecution and is certainly a misuse of resources,” said left-wing lawyer and Obama supporter Alan Dershowitz. “It raises the question of why he is being selected for prosecution among the many, many people who commit similar crimes.” James O’Keefe of Project Veritas found himself on the United States terrorism watch list after one of his videos at the U.S. southern border went viral.
President Trump’s response to Sessions is worth noting here:
Jeff Sessions said he wouldn’t allow politics to influence him only because he doesn’t understand what is happening underneath his command position. Highly conflicted Bob Mueller and his gang of 17 Angry Dems are having a field day as real corruption goes untouched. No Collusion!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2018
Trump has a point. There are clearly significant issues within the Department of Justice that aren’t being addressed quickly enough. It is up to the Trump administration to restore faith in the Department of Justice after eight years of abuse of power. President Trump needs to understand that publicly attacking his own attorney general looks extraordinarily bad, as if he’s pushing for the same politicization that he used to criticize Obama for. It’s a lot to easier to destroy the department’s reputation as Obama and his minions did than it is to restore it. Part of restoring the Department of Justice’s reputation will involve keeping the White House uninvolved as it cleans house. Trump’s tweets and attacks on Sessions don’t help achieve this.
I want to see the partisan hacks booted as much as anyone else does, but the way Trump is handling his frustration at the way things are being handled is counterproductive. It invites more scrutiny and makes it harder for real progress to be made to ensure that the blindfold is put back on Lady Justice after Obama ripped it off.
Matt Margolis is the author of the book, The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis