Tuesday, May 16, 2017

James Comey firing was an "assault on constitutional values," and Jeff Sessions, with his long history of abusive tactics in Alabama, was in the middle of it

James Comey
If Trump attorney general Jeff Sessions goes down in the widening KremlinGate scandal, it will be ironic because Sessions has played a major role in fostering an environment that allows corruption to take hold, according to a new report out of Washington, D.C.

Andrew Kreig, an attorney and journalist who directs the Justice-Integrity Project (JIP), writes that Sessions long has been a "master of the dark arts of political intrigue," which include blackmail, prosecution of political enemies, and gross abuse of the justice system.

Kreig's piece focuses on Sessions' role in last week's firing of FBI director James Comey and shows that Sessions, as state attorney general and U.S. senator from Alabama, has a history of ties to such skulduggery. Title of the article is "Comey firing stems from DOJ, Sessions hidden scandals." From the article:

The Justice Department's top two officials (Sessions and Rod Rosenstein) have helped enable longstanding, deeply hidden Justice Department deceit and obstruction of justice in major cases, thereby paving the way for President Trump’s shocking firing of FBI Director James Comey on May 9.

Many Americans reacted with outrage at President Trump's suggestion on May 12 that he may have secretly taped Comey while Comey sought retention as the FBI probed potential criminal Russian influence over Trump's team and the 2016 elections.

But relatively few people even in government or the media know the vast abuses that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has long enabled as a U.S. senator in Alabama beginning in 1996 and previously as a U.S. Attorney and attorney general in that state since 1981.

That's because he's a master of the dark arts of political intrigue, including dark money, political prosecutions of enemies, blackmail and other repeated abuses of the justice system — each of them tactics that are most effective when obscured by rhetoric about conservative principles, national security, family values and "rule of law." Sessions . . . was Trump's first major supporter among elected officials during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Kreig points to a March Guardian article, titled "Gun for hire: How Sessions used his prosecuting powers to target Democrats." From the The Guardian article, by reporters Jon Swaine and Oliver Laughland:

Opponents concluded that Sessions used his federal prosecutor’s office, and the FBI agents who worked for him, as political weapons, according to more than half a dozen veterans of Mobile’s 1980s legal and political circles. Some alleged in court filings that the ambitious young Republican actually worked from a “hit list” of Democratic targets. . . .

The decades-old concerns have been revived by Donald Trump’s appointment of Sessions as US attorney general, and the mounting anxiety over his ability to remain even-handed as the nation’s most senior law enforcement official given his record of vigorous partisanship.

How partisan is Sessions? Dana Jill Simpson -- a retired lawyer, one-time GOP opposition researcher, and major figure in the Don Siegelman case -- told Kreig that Sessions is an extremist, even among some of Alabama's most "out there" conservatives. From the Kreig article:

"Jeff Sessions is a racist," Alabama opposition researcher and political activist Dana Jill Simpson told the Justice Integrity Project in an exclusive interview on May 12. "He has been on the far, far, far right even by the standards of Alabama conservatives."
Simpson is an Alabama attorney and former GOP political operative who courageously stepped forward in 2007 to describe the DOJ's frame-up on corruption charges of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, her state's leading Democrat. . . .
She has also helped this editor and other investigative reporters document many scandals. These include involvement by Sessions and his cronies in mind-boggling national and international intrigues. Among them have been secret dealings with Russia, suspicious awards of defense contracts involving tens of billions of dollars in one instance, and a sinister role in the 2007 U.S. attorney firing scandal that Simpson helped expose and document.

For almost 10 years, Legal Schnauzer has chronicled corruption in state and federal courts, in Alabama and beyond. Simpson says our courts are a wreck, in part, because of Jeff Sessions. From the JIP article:

Simpson describes Sessions as "the national ringleader of partisan abuses of the legal system, first in Alabama and then via his leadership of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where he was in a position to help appoint prosecutors, judges and other officials to accuse some people unfairly and let others off, and otherwise reward his patrons and confederates."

Just yesterday, we wrote about such a confederate, U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor, who repeatedly has ruled contrary to law in two pending federal lawsuits, regarding my unlawful arrest and incarceration in 2013-14 and the wrongful foreclosure of our home of 25 years in Birmingham.

Dana Jill Simpson
(From donsiegelman.net)
The record strongly suggests Proctor, who took underhanded steps to help Sessions get a black federal judge (U.W. Clemon) off a high-profile case in the 1990s, has made bogus rulings to protect Sessions' associates who are defendants in our cases. Our experience, plus Sessions' evolving role in KremlinGate, suggest his crooked tendencies are not in the rear-view mirror. They are right up to the moment.

Sessions' involvement in the Comey firing, after the AG had vowed to recuse himself from all matters related to the Trump-Russia scandal, might have led him into a morass from which he cannot escape. Writes Kreig:

In sum, Comey's firing is an assault on the nation's core constitutional and other democratic values comparable if not worse than President Nixon's Watergate. However, no one can truly understand the situation, much less reform it, without appreciating the full history of the perpetrators and their institutions.


Anonymous said...

Sessions is going down, he and his tiny little hands.

Anonymous said...

Has anybody written a book on the history of corruption? It now would have to be a multi-volume set, with several volumes devoted to the Trump admin by itself.

Anonymous said...

I live in NE and must admit I had no idea Jeff Sessions was this bad while in Alabama. I knew about the racism allegations, but had never heard about political prosecutions etc.

Anonymous said...

If that Guardian article doesn't scare the crap out of you, I don't know what will.

Anonymous said...

Somebody should have assassinated this little prick years ago. They would have done Alabama and the country a big favor.

legalschnauzer said...

@11:55 --

I assume your comment is mostly in jest. But as someone who has been cheated multiple times in court, I've had a somewhat related thought. What makes these cheaters think a victim, somewhere along the way, won't realize what has been done and use firepower of some sort (maybe even lethal firepower) to fight back?

That's one reason I try not to cheat people -- it's a matter of doing the right thing, but also a matter of self preservation. We live in a second amendment country, with firearms everywhere, and how does Jeff Sessions know that someone he prosecuted for being a Democrat won't nail his ass someday?

Anonymous said...

Jill Simpson's use of the word "confederates" is very interesting.

legalschnauzer said...

@12:46 --

It sure is, and that's exactly what Jeff Sessions is -- a Confederate with a capital "C."

He's a racist right out of the 1860s. And he's a "Little Mule" who has no respect for the U.S. Constitution, the rule of law, or even the Alabama Constitution. He is for a Dixie-fried version of the law that favors him and white elites/racists like him.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Sessions' problem is that he's a spoiled brat. He's been getting away with abusing people in Alabama for decades, but now he's in a position where the spotlight is hotter and brighter. Like most cockroaches, Jeffy probably is looking for a dark corner to hide, and he can't find one.

Anonymous said...

Jill Simpson doesn't mince words. I like that.

e.a.f. said...

OMG this whole thing has provided endless material for Stephen Corbett, Noah Trevor and Seth Myers. It is all to horrible to contemplate, however when I turn on the t.v. every night and watch those guys I fall asleep laughing. its just too bad the rest of the world is laughing also.

its not funny. A whole nation is going down the toilet. It is like watching a train wreck which is coming but you can`t stop it.

Sessions was hired, in my opinion, as A.G. because he can be counted on to do the things he is "famous" for. he serves Trump well. the selection of a new FBI director will be one chosen by Sessions so you can imagine how well that will go for law enforcement in the U.S.A.

Now of course we have the Russians in the oval office. My god it looked like Trump and those two Russians were having a party celebrating the firing of Comey.

In my circle of friends here in Canada, its about all we talk about. We can`t believe the circus. of course now that we ``know`` it was Israeli information he `shared`with the Russians, eeegad. if Trump meets some strange end while in Europe don`t wonder who helped him along. or who knows the Republians if they are smart will stage the American version of a coup and get rid of Trump, well empeach him, get the ball rolling. he`s gone for 9 days. eeygds how many `secrets`will he share while abroad and with whom just so he can feel like a big shot.

Andrew Kreig said...

Roger Shuler’s brave, pioneering and necessary role continues with this story. He illustrates the threat posed by U.S. Attorney Gen. Jeff Sessions and his colleagues to basic civil rights across the country. That’s clear from the many investigative reports by their abusive conduct.

By means of years of his diligent reporting and commentary (repaid mostly by cruel legal reprisals), the Legal Schnauzer has documented the horrid legal/political track record in the Deep South of the Justice Department and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

This is now important to every decent, civic-minded American. Yet most, at least right now, are too busy or blinded by partisanship to appreciate how violations of civil rights harm not just victims from the past, but those in the future.

It’s reported that 20 million visitors came to the nation’s capital last year, doubtless seeking and for the most part obtaining inspiration from the many historic sites. It’s worth remembering also, however, that many of the historic figures who created these attractions were controversial within their own times for innovations contrary to conventional wisdom.

Perhaps most relevantly, the Bill of Rights appended to the Constitution was essentially a list of protections for the public against the power of the federal government, with many of those protections being undermined right now.

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for the kind words, Andrew, and for profound thoughts that I hope readers will take to heart, especially now, as we face one of the greatest threats to our democracy in U.S. history.