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

Greg Nash

Sen. Dick Durbin (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 Sessions 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.”

{mosads}Durbin said he would support Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (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. 

Tags Dick Durbin Jeff Sessions Mitch McConnell Ted Cruz

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