|Kathleen Green Robertson|
But first, let's recall one of the many "endearing" traits Luther Strange exhibited before Gov. Robert Bentley chose him to replace Trump AG Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate. Strange always seemed to think the public, the ones who for unknown reasons voted him into office, was stupid. We were too stupid to see that he reached a quid pro quo deal with Bentley, that Strange would not prosecute the governor in exchange for Sessions' Senate seat. Or he thought we were too stupid to see that he prosecuted Mike Hubbard because the House Speaker, while wildly corrupt, also stood in the path between Strange and higher office, such as governor or U.S. senator.
Now, it appears Steve Marshall, the guy Bentley chose to replace Strange, is just as tin-eared as his oversized predecessor. Last week, Marshall announced that Kathleen Green Robertson would be chief counsel in the AG's office. Now, consider Robertson's qualifications, as reported by Alabama Political Reporter (APR):
Robertson holds a B.S. in political science from Auburn University and a law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law. She began her career at the US Department of Justice in the Office of Intergovernmental and Public Liaison where she assisted in fostering relationships between the Department and State and local Law Enforcement. She later worked for US Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) as legislative counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee, handling matters related to crime, drugs and national security. Robertson said that that experience that instilled her passion for constitutional and criminal law. Robertson recently returned to Washington to serve Sessions throughout the process of his confirmation to become Attorney General of the United States.
Most of Robertson's experience consists of working for Jeff Sessions. That would be the same Sessions who now is the target of a criminal complaint, alleging that he violated federal statutes on perjury, making false statements, and obstruction of justice -- all related to lies he made during his confirmation hearings about meetings with a Russian ambassador.
Sessions stands at the heart of "KremlinGate," which might soon bring down the Donald Trump White House and become known as the most grotesque political scandal in American history. But Steve Marshall thinks it was a good idea to promote one of Sessions' former aides to chief counsel? Is it far-fetched to think Sessions might have put in a call to Marshall on Robertson's behalf, and Marshall was clueless enough to go along with the perjurious AG's request/demand?
None of us knows how KremlinGate will unfold, but for now, we have daily drips of news that suggest a foreign adversary (Russia) colluded with Trump surrogates (and maybe Trump himself) to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Is Steve Marshall so naive that he does not comprehend the potential gravity of this? Does he not see the possibility of impeachment and/or prison time for those in Trump's inner circle, which definitely includes Jeff Sessions.
For Robertson's part, she's was not just any old aide to the senator. She helped him prepare for the very confirmation hearings where he lied. She used to work with the same committee before which he lied. At a bare minimum, one might think such an aide could keep her boss from committing crimes during and after his testimony. But Robertson apparently could not do that.
It's not far-fetched to think that Robertson could wind up painted with the KremlinGate brush, but Steve Marshall said, "By golly, we've just got to have her as chief counsel in the AG's office."
That thought takes us back to around 1975. Imagine a state attorney general -- let's say in California -- making the following announcement:
Today, I welcome John Ehrlichman as my new chief counsel. Mr. Ehrlichman comes to us after serving in the administration of President Richard Nixon. Mr. Ehrlichman has enjoyed a distinguished career, especially if you don't count the fact he created "The Plumbers" and played a key role in the Watergate cover up. Mr. Ehrlichman won't be able to join our office immediately. First, he will have to serve one to four years in federal prison. But once he's out of the slammer, I'm sure he will do a splendid job as chief counsel. After all, he's associated with Richard Nixon, who has been one of our finest presidents -- if you don't count his various pathologies, plus the paranoia and dishonesty that were central to the Watergate scandal. Richard Nixon . . . what a swell guy! And I can say the same thing about John Ehrlichman!
Sounds like a crazy announcement doesn't it? Steve Marshall's announcement of Kathleen Green Robertson's appointment might not be as far from that as he would like to believe.