President Donald Trump has hatched a new plan to oust Attorney General Jeff Sessions and crush Robert Mueller’s Russia probe — all while bypassing the need to ask the Senate to confirm a new attorney general.
According to Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman, Trump has discussed firing Sessions and replacing him with current Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt. Since Pruitt, unlike Sessions, has not recused himself from being involved in Russia-related matters, he would be completely free to shut down the probe.
“Also, as an agency head and former state attorney general, Pruitt would presumably have a good shot at passing a Senate confirmation hearing,” the report notes.
Trump publicly attacked Sessions earlier this month for not doing enough to investigate former President Barack Obama. He then trashed Sessions for not directing his own attorneys at the Department of Justice to investigate Obama themselves.
“Why not use Justice Department lawyers?” he asked. “DISGRACEFUL!”
Trump has not been shy about ripping into his own attorney general for not doing enough to investigate his political foes. Last month, Trump on Twitter told his followers to ask Sessions — whose name the president initially misspelled as “Jeff Session” — why Democrats weren’t being investigated for “crimes” related to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
And last summer, Trump called Sessions “beleaguered” and “weak” because he was not sufficiently investigating former Democratic rival Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.
(Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Scott Pruitt would not need Senate confirmation.)