Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from working on the Russia investigation, but he did not recuse himself from his vital position. While immigration has been the Justice Department’s primary focus, more can be done to restore the rule of law the Obama Administration tainted.
First, Attorney General Sessions must correct the injustices of the Obama Administration by prosecuting those who clearly violated the law and the trust of the American people.
As an investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform found in 2014, not only did the IRS “target conservative-oriented applicants for tax-exempt status” but also that, “[t]he Obama administration exhibited a lack of accountability for the IRS misconduct” and “Lois Lerner’s refusal to testify hindered the Committee’s investigation.”
Yet despite this clear evidence of misconduct, the Obama Administration refused to prosecute the key figure in the scandal, Lois Lerner.
The report continues to find that, “as weeks wore on and the initial outrage faded, a deliberate effort emerged to minimize and obfuscate the misconduct. The administration claimed the misconduct was the responsibility of rogue line-level agents in the IRS Cincinnati office. A senior Congressional Democrat proclaimed the ‘case is solved’ just as the investigation began.”
Lois Lerner refused to take responsibility and the Obama Administration never forced her to. This is unsurprising considering the sham investigation they also ran on Hillary Clinton.
Judicial Watch conducted a Fact v. Fiction analysis of Clinton’s book “What Happened”. They found the FBI’s only interview with Clinton was a mere 2.5 hours of conversation that did not even place her under oath. Clinton was allowed to turn her technology over at her own accord without the imposition of a search warrant, and the interviews spent significant time discussing her lawyer’s personal life. The investigation was a charade just like Lerner’s investigation.
Now with power over the Justice Department and pledges of commitment to renew the rule of law, Sessions has the opportunity to combat these issues but has chosen not to. As one Fox News commenter, Josie Piper perfectly articulated, “I am utterly disappointed that our DOJ has decided not to prosecute Lois Lerner. I voted for this administration to drain the swamp and correct some of the lawlessness that has run rampant in the government for the last 8 years plus. This is not a good start.”
If for some reason, General Sessions has not been provided with the evidence in the case, and is failing to act based upon the recommendation of his number two in the Department who is responsible for all criminal prosecutions, Rod Rosenstein. Then the Attorney General needs to order a new, review of the facts untouched by some of the career attorneys who work for Rosenstein who shared culpability in the previous Administrations malfeasance so he can make an informed decision on how to proceed.
Second, Sessions must hold Rosenstein accountable for reining in the Mueller investigation that has grown into a chaotic witch-hunt.
Rosenstein and Mueller have both claimed that their investigation has a limited scope, but what the scope is, is still a question for millions of Americans.
Under Justice Department rules, the regulation 28 CFR Sec. 600.1 states that the department may appoint a special counsel when they have determined that a criminal investigation is warranted and traditional handling within the Justice Department would present a conflict of interest.
As Andrew McCarthy of the National Review highlights, “The regulation does not permit the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel in order to determine whether there is a basis for a criminal investigation. To the contrary, the basis for a criminal investigation must pre-exist the appointment. It is the criminal investigation that triggers the special counsel, not the other way around. Rosenstein, instead, appointed a special counsel and unleashed him to sniff around and see if he could come up with a crime.”
Sessions does not need to be part of the investigation to command his own Deputy to publicly clarify the scope of the investigation and limit itself to that scope. It does not appear from the outside that Sessions has taken this step, even as evidence mounts that these underlings are set on burning Trump at the stake and are running the Justice Department rather than Sessions himself.
This investigation has now gone on for nearly 11 months, and there is still no criminal “smoking gun” as Mueller and Rosenstein seem to contend is on the way. Sessions cannot allow these wild fishing expeditions to take the time and resources of the Justice Department, which can be used to keep the American people safe and secure.
Rule of Law.
Third, Sessions cannot allow liberal fundraisers to use environmental radicalism as a method for pushing policy.
The environmental groups leading the protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline were not doing so for an altruistic goal of saving the Earth, they did so because they were funded by the Earth Island Institute (funded by the Rockefellers), the Tides Foundation, The Rose Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.
As Tom Shepstone explains in a Sept. 2016 analysis, “Not only is the pipeline not on the reservation’s land, it parallels an existing natural gas pipeline already built there in the ’80’s. The Indigenous Environmental Network is also part of something called the Sustainable World Coalition… It’s not about the climate, the environment or Native Americans. It’s all about the money and power, which is why Warren Buffett also invests in Tides and other groups to fund opposition to Dakota pipelines that would compete with his Burlington Northern railroad to haul oil. It’s because of these people that groups such as the Indigenous Environmental Network even exist and why the debate over the Dakota Pipeline is such a fiasco.”
Environmentalists claimed their efforts were led by “tribal grassroots members” despite lucrative assistance from wealthy business owners like Buffett.
As a result, these “activists” caused millions of dollars in damage to the land they claimed to be protecting. The Dakota Access Pipeline group has now engaged in a civil suit against Greenpeace USA for “racketeering and defamation that ended up increasing the cost of construction by at least $300 million.”
The so-called environmentalists did not just destroy the land they were guarding, they also committed crimes while on the land and led campaigns of misinformation to garner support. Civil action is not enough, the Justice Department must halt the funders of these efforts from continuing to engage in organized criminal activity designed to disrupt legitimate commerce.
Ultimately, Sessions must retake control over his Justice Department. Obama era appointees are still filling the ranks and tying the Attorney General’s hands.
If Sessions’ employees are not fulfilling his agenda, and the President’s agenda, their budgets should be zeroed out, and outside counsel should be hired in their place to ensure that the people’s business is done and the rule of law is restored.
Sessions’ recusal was from one investigation, not from the job of restoring justice to the American people. By prosecuting Lois Lerner and Hillary Clinton, holding Rosenstein accountable to his duties, and ending the funding of environmental radicalism, Sessions can take the first steps toward taking back the Justice Department from the Obama radicals who still apparently run it.
Natalia Castro is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.