Now the dagger may well be in the other hand. And unlike most things political, this is something we’ll have an answer to in no more than five days.
Basically, they’re trying to stick it to Deputy Director Andrew McCabe one more time on his way out the door. Y’all remember Andy McCabe, he’s the one that had so much shit dumped on his head by Trump that his legs are permanently bowed. He finally stepped aside under more g-force than an astronaut leaving the launching pad, and took leave until his retirement becomes effective this Sunday.
One of the ways that Trump’s Justice Department put pressure on McCabe was for the DOJ Inspector General to highlight an investigation on McCabe for some trumped up nonsense on McCabe’s interaction with a reporter during the FBI’s investigation of the Clinton Foundation. Well, the IG just came down like a hammer on McCabe, and one of the recommendations was termination, criminal prosecution was also left on the table. That’s right, they want to fire a guy with one foot out of the door.
The reason this is important is that if they terminate McCabe, they can set in motion the wheels to deny paying him his DOJ pension. If this sounds oddly familiar, it should, think of it as a small vendor who did some painting or cabinetry at a Trump property presenting his final bill, only to be told by Trump that the work was shoddy, so it was on the house. This could force McCabe to spend months if not years tied up in court, paying a lawyer, just trying to obtain something he spent more than 20 years earning.
But here’s where the worm turns. The Inspector General cannot file charges or take definitive action. He submits a report and recommendation to the Office of Professional Standards, which then makes a recommendation to the Attorney General, the final call is his. While the impetus for all of this nonsense is the Trump-Russia investigation, I cannot imagine Sessions recusing himself from this decision, since it deals with DOJ rules and discipline, not the investigation itself.
So, the ball is is Sessions’ court. If Sessions decides to terminate McCabe, he gives his tormentor his petty revenge, and potentially ruins the life of a dedicated career DOJ employee. If he declines to terminate McCabe, he likely incurs more of Trump’s wrath.
But here’s the John Carpenter plot twist. Jeff Sessions can jam it up Trump’s nose without doing a thing. All he has to do is absolutely nothing. McCabe’s retirement becomes effective on Sunday. Even if Jeff Sessions decides on Monday to fire McCabe, you can’t fire a retiree. All Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III has to do is to keep occupied on more pressing matters until the clock runs out.
Normally, I would expect Sessions’ decision to terminate McCabe to come down sometime tomorrow. But Sessions has stayed true to his recusal, constantly infuriating his rust topped master, and has consistently refrained from criticizing any member of the DOJ, including Robert Mueller, who is involved in the investigation. And Sessions replied to Trump’s latest criticism by tweeting that as long as he was the Attorney General, he would conduct himself with honor and integrity, and so would the department. Well, if so, this is his chance to prove it.
You wanna bet that there’s some kind of an internal process for Sessions to request additional information, or a clarification, or a personal session with McCabe? And since any government agency is timed with a geologic clock, you think he could request that action at a time when the necessary action cannot possibly be completed before Sunday?
I am no fan of Jeff Sessions, just as I was no fan of Rex Tillerson, but Jesus Christ, the ASPCA comes around and takes animals away from assholes like Trump. You can say to your little heart’s content that Sessions will wimp out in order to keep Trump from jumping up and down on him in $10 shitkickers again. My response is that Trump if going to flay Sessions with a cat-o-nine any time he needs to blow off steam, so Sessions has absolutely nothing to lose by earning a whupping for a change. The only real question here is whether or not, after 16 months of Trumpal abuse, Jeff Sessions still has enough self respect to want some payback. Tick-tock.