May 15, 2019

AT LEAST HE HAD NO GOOD REPUTATION TO RUIN:

Jeff Sessions's Grave Conflict of Interest (Murray Waas, 5/15/19, NYRB)

Last year, in March 2018, then Attorney General Jeff Sessions enlisted his subordinates to lie on his behalf that he did not know he was under federal investigation when he fired then Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe--an investigation initiated by McCabe and overseen by him until it was taken over by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

By doing so, Sessions and his allies succeeded in shutting down a major controversy. If it had been made public that the attorney general had knowingly fired the deputy FBI director (and later, acting director) who'd opened and supervised that criminal investigation, the resulting scandal would have engulfed Sessions and would likely have even more seriously threatened his already tumultuous tenure as attorney general. Besides the scrutiny of the media and Congress, Sessions might have faced an inquiry by one of the Justice Department's internal watchdog agencies, the Department's Inspector General or Office of Professional Responsibility, as well as incurring the wrath of an already embittered president.

A government official with first-hand knowledge of the matter told me that the attorney general therefore instructed aides to make false statements in briefings to the press. The official's account of what was at stake for Sessions is corroborated in part by a mass of evidence in the Mueller Report detailing the special counsel's investigation of the former attorney general.

Posted by at May 15, 2019 5:35 PM

  

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