By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
President Donald J. Trump (R) is increasingly preoccupied by the many investigations that are now centering around his 2016 election and allegations that the Trump campaign may have colluded with the Russian government to expose former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s secrets and tilt the election in his favor. Trump’s anger is increasingly focused on his Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R). Sessions, a former Alabama Senator, angered his boss by recusing himself from the Trump Russian collusion investigation after it was revealed that Sessions, while a prominent member of the Trump campaign, did have two meetings with the Russian ambassador. The President disagrees and a growing number of sources believe that the embattled President is considering firing Sessions as AG.
On Tuesday, July 26 a number of prominent Alabama leaders have expressed their support for Sessions in statements on social media.
Senator Richard Shelby (R) said, “During the past twenty years that I have served with Jeff Sessions in the Senate, I have had the opportunity to know him well. He is a man of integrity, loyalty, and extraordinary character. I join the people of Alabama in giving him my deep respect and unwavering support.”
Senator Luther Strange (R) said “Jeff Sessions is my mentor, a great friend, and a man of the utmost integrity. His example of leadership inspired me to run for public office in Alabama, and continues to merit the admiration of his team at DOJ, his former colleagues in the Senate, and the people of our great State. Jeff and President Trump are trying to make America great again, and it’s a privilege to work alongside both to accomplish the Trump agenda for the American people, and we need to stop letting the media distract us from that vision.”
US Representative Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) said, “I think Jeff Sessions is doing an excellent job as our nation’s Attorney General. In his six months on the job, he has done more to uphold our nation’s laws and keep communities safe than the previous Administration did in eight years. He is a person of tremendous character and integrity. He has my full support.”
US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) said, “Jeff Sessions is a good man who has made tremendous progress during his short time at the Department of Justice. He has cracked down on crime and illegal immigration, and he has continued to operate with integrity. No one is better suited to run the Department of Justice than Jeff Sessions. He has my – and the people of Alabama’s – strong support.”
St. Clair County DA and appeal court judicial candidate, Richard Minor (R) said, “AG Jeff Sessions is one of the reasons I am where I am today. A man who didn’t know me but gave me an opportunity as a senior in college to intern in the US Attorneys Office in Mobile. He later allowed me to serve as a law clerk in that same office and later as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Alabama. He was a man of character and integrity then. He still is today.”
There are some media reports, citing the far too common anonymous sources within the administration, that former New York City Mayor and US Attorney Rudy Giuliani (R) is being considered as Sessions’ replacement.
Giuliani told CNN on Monday that Sessions “made the right decision under the rules of the Justice Department” in recusing himself from the investigation.”
After AG Sessions recused himself from the investigation, decision making authority fell to Deputy Attorney General, Rod J. Rosenstein who then appointed former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III as special prosecutor. Mueller recently announced that he was expanding the probe to Trump’s business empire.
If Sessions does resign or get fired he might have other career options.
One potential gubernatorial candidate has suggested that Sessions could be a formidable gubernatorial candidate himself.
State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) said that Sessions would “be the instant frontrunner and clear out many candidates,” if he entered the governor’s race.
Zeigler said, “Sessions for governor could possibly scare out Gov. Kay Ivey, Mayor Tommy Battle, Twinkle Cavanaugh, John McMillan and me. There would likely only be nominal candidates to oppose Sessions.”
Zeigler said that, “Sessions has missed the deadline to run as a Republican for his old senate seat,” which will hold the Special Major Party Primaries on August 15, 2017.
Zeigler was a US Senate candidate in 1996, but dropped out when Sessions (then Alabama Attorney General) entered the race.
If Zeigler does not run for Governor, he says he will seek re-election as State Auditor.