Senate Dem: We’re trying to block a recess appointment to replace Sessions

Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinOvernight Health Care — Fauci: Lack of facts 'likely' cost lives in coronavirus fight | CDC changes COVID-19 vaccine guidance to allow rare mixing of Pfizer, Moderna shots | Senate chaos threatens to slow Biden's agenda Hillicon Valley: Intelligence agency gathers US smartphone location data without warrants, memo says | Democrats seek answers on impact of Russian hack on DOJ, courts | Airbnb offers Biden administration help with vaccine distribution Democrats seek answers on impact of Russian cyberattack on Justice Department, Courts MORE (D-Ill.) said the Senate Judiciary Committee is "exploring" measures that would block President Trump from appointing an acting attorney general to replace Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHarris to resign from Senate seat on Monday Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Sessions, top DOJ officials knew 'zero tolerance' would separate families, watchdog finds MORE during the August recess, effectively allowing him to circumvent the need for congressional confirmation. 

"We're exploring the ways right now," Durbin said on MSNBC's "The Beat with Ari Melber."

"The idea this president would use the August recess to stop the investigation of the Russian impact on the election and his campaign is unacceptable."

The Illinois senator declined to offer further details when Melber pushed on how they plan to prevent any attempt by Trump to replace Sessions, adding that he's told Melber "as much as I can tell you at this moment."

Durbin said he would support Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump impeachment trial to begin week of Feb. 8 Democrats float 14th Amendment to bar Trump from office Biden signals he's willing to delay Trump trial MORE (R-Ky.) and the GOP leadership in avoiding having the upper chamber go into a full recess if this is the angle Trump is working for.

"Yes. If that's what it takes. I think it's that important. If we don't stand for the principle that no one in this country is above the law, then what are we?" Durbin responded in part. "To think that the president or any person in the White House is above the law is unacceptable in America."

Durbin's comments come at a time when Trump has repeatedly and blisteringly criticized Sessions, one of his early and loyal campaign supporters, for his decision to recuse himself from the ongoing Russia interference investigation.

His public roastings of the Justice Department chief have fueled buzz that Trump could ask for Sessions's resignation, even though it could be the president venting his frustration out in the open.

Some news outlets have reported that the president is floating possible attorney general replacements to his West Wing staffers including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rudy Giuliani, another longtime supporter — a claim the former New York City mayor denies.