What is the job of the Attorney General of the United States? It’s worth reflecting on this question amid swirling rumors about the potential firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Here’s what Senator Ben Sasse had to say about the role of our nation’s chief prosecutor and the rule of law on the Senate floor yesterday afternoon:
It would be a very, very, very bad idea to fire the Attorney General because he’s not executing his job as a political hack. That is not the job of the Attorney General. The Attorney General’s job is to be faithful to the Constitution and to the rule of law.
Jeff Sessions just had to issue a statement about two hours ago which I would like to read. The Attorney General says, “while I am Attorney General the actions of the Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations. I demand the highest standards and where they are not met I take action, however, no nation has a more talented, more dedicated group of law enforcement investigators and prosecutors than the United States. I am proud to serve with them and proud of the work we have done in successfully advancing the rule of law.”
That’s his job. The Attorney General is a man who when he served in this body would have policy disputes with probably all 99 of us… or all 100 of us now… But the 99 people he served alongside. There are a bunch issues where I agree with Jeff Sessions on policy. There are some issues where I disagree with Jeff Sessions on policy.
The Democrats disagree with Jeff Sessions on lots of policy but I think everybody in this body knows that Jeff Sessions has been executing his job in a way faithful to his oath of office to the Constitution in trying to defend the rule of law.
think Jeff Sessions’ statement today that the U.S. Department of Justice is filled with honorable, dispassionate career prosecutors who execute their job in ways that the American people should be proud of is indisputably true.
What he said is something that basically everybody in this body knows and agrees with — and yet bizarrely there are people in this body now talking like the Attorney General will be fired, should be fired… I’m not sure how to interpret the comments of the last couple of hours but, I guess, I would just like to say, as a member of the Judiciary Committee, and as a member of this body, I find it really difficult to envision any circumstance where I would vote to confirm a successor to Jeff Sessions, if he is fired, because he’s executing his job, rather than choosing to act as a partisan hack.
I think everybody in this body knows that Jeff Sessions is doing his job honorably and the Attorney General of the United States should not be fired for acting honorably and for being faithful to the rule of law.