Roger L. Simon

The Resurrection of Jeff Sessions

It’s hard for many of us always to know who our friends really are. The president of the United States appears to have more difficulty with this than most (cf. Paul Manafort).  He also may be too quick to dismiss or turn on those who may ultimately be his truest friends.

A case in point, although it is not yet certain, seems to be Jeff Sessions, who has been in Donald Trump’s crosshairs since the attorney general recused himself from the Russia investigation.

Sessions made news this week by authorizing the Department of Justice to sue the state of California for preempting federal immigration laws.  Today he delivered some strong words to a convention of the state’s Peace Officers Association:

I understand that we have a wide variety of political opinions out there on immigration. But the law is in the books and its purpose is clear.

There is no nullification. There is no secession. Federal law is “the supreme law of the land.” I would invite any doubters to Gettysburg, and to the graves of John C. Calhoun and Abraham Lincoln.

A refusal to apprehend and deport those, especially the criminal element, effectively rejects all immigration law and creates an open borders system. Open borders is a radical, irrational idea that cannot be accepted.

The United States of America is not “an idea;” it is a secular nation-state with a Constitution, laws, and borders, all of which are designed to protect our nation’s interests. Surely, we should be able to agree on this much.

Well, no.  Especially if your name is Edmund G. Brown Jr., aka Jerry Brown, the governor of California who reacted in the highest dudgeon, calling Sessions’ remarks a declaration of war on California.

Brown would have done better to declare war himself on the homeless epidemic turning his state’s largest cities into new versions of Calcutta with people defecating in the streets and littering the freeway underpasses with syringes. (Apologies to the citizens of Calcutta — it’s probably not nearly as bad).  Even the slavishly liberal L.A. Times has labeled Los Angeles’ homeless crisis a “national disgrace.” People are leaving California  for a reason.

But never mind. The reaction of Brown, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the execrable Oakland mayor (lucky she didn’t get people killed), etc. is predictable.  Meanwhile, however, some on the right were still criticizing Sessions.  They intimated he was making this stand on immigration, justified as it was, to distract from his failure in dealing with the crisis within the FBI and other intelligence agencies, the distressing misuse of the FISA court to enable the illegal surveillance of American citizens and probably of the president himself.  This was a crisis beyond even immigration. (Excuse me, Ann Coulter.)
I have been hearing discreet rumors for some time that Sessions was working behind the scenes on this.  And then tonight the following appeared on Jake Gibson’s Twitter account previewing an interview conducted with the attorney general by Fox News’s Shannon Bream.
Sessions on calls for second Special Counsel: “I have appointed a person outside of Washington, many years in the Department of Justice, to look at all the allegations that the House Judiciary Committee members sent to us and we’re conducting that investigation.”
Gibson is Bream’s producer.  As The Conservative Treehouse noted, “It would appear Attorney General Jeff Sessions already has a DOJ prosecutor looking into the issues uncovered by the House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte.”
Listening to the actual interview, although he was surprisingly laudatory of Trump, Sessions was still guarded on FISA and related matters.  On some level, that was unnerving.  Most of us know the gravity of the situation and are as anxious as Trump, almost anyway, to see that something is done, that justice is served.  But like it or not, in order for justice to be served, Sessions has to be circumspect now. He has no choice — he cannot show his cards yet.  Even a special counsel might be too much or too obvious.  He has to do everything according to Hoyle and more.  Everything has to be as buttoned down as possible, the IG report in, for accusations to stick in a situation of such national contentiousness.  We will all still have to listen to Adam Schiff for a while.
But take heart.  As someone has told us, “Revenge is a meal which tastes best when it is cold.”  The longer this takes, the better — say to around Labor Day just as voters are starting to focus on the midterm elections. Until then, pazienza.  If I am wrong about Sessions, if I or we misjudge him, there will be time to excoriate him later.
UPDATE:  And speaking of “best tasted cold,” look who just released the long suppressed Fast and Furious documents.  Hint: it wasn’t Eric Holder.

Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media.  His latest book is I Know Best:  How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If  It Hasn’t Already.