Let’s talk about the debacle that is the current Department of Justice.
In all fairness, the state of the DOJ is not the fault of the current administration. We do have ample reason to believe that it has been allowed to become politicized under prior administrations. However, the current state of the Department seems at times to be damn near rebellion against the President of the United States.
While no one should ever expect the nation’s top law enforcement agencies to swear an oath of unquestionable loyalty to any single president over their own duty, it should still be expected that members of those agencies continue to act in a professional manner and respect the office. We simply do not see that very much right now.
Leaks, text messages, and the like have called into question whether or not these agencies can effectively serve their duty under Donald Trump. You can argue against that opinion all you want, but you would have no problem making the same claim if Barack Obama were still in power or if Hillary Clinton had won the election instead.
When he took office, Trump offered the job of Attorney General – the leader of the DOJ – to Jeff Sessions, and Sessions has done very little to convince the public that he is even doing the job at all.
He has done nothing to reform the DOJ, letting these agencies do as they please. There has been no show of leadership, other than a recusal from the central investigation into Trump’s transition (a fair recusal, as he was a key adviser to Trump leading up to his election and transition).
He has remained singularly focused on marijuana laws, almost as though he believes that eliminating it would solve all of our problems. Nevermind the myriad other reforms that can and should be taken to change the way the DOJ is perceived and how they do their job. This focus remains at the expense of solving other, more real problems.
Most importantly, however, Sessions has remained quiet and on the sideline during this entire memo fiasco.
The Department of Justice, if nothing else, looks like it is a chicken without a head. Maybe it is. I’m not even sure sometimes that Sessions is really alive.
It is time for Donald Trump to fire Jeff Sessions, or at least ask for his resignation. It is time to find someone who can lead that Department out of the flames that seem to keep rising from it and essentially start over.
If the President reads this, I would hope he takes the following advice when looking for someone to replace Sessions with.
- Find someone who is not a sycophant. Barack Obama had this nasty habit of keeping his inner circle filled with Yes Men. They were insulated from the rest of the world and had no real, practical skills to offer for many of their jobs. Trump should hire someone from the outside, because if he himself is the outsider he says he is, then he should understand the value of an outside perspective.
- Get someone young, energetic, and eager to work. Sessions does not look, talk, or act like someone who is gung ho about his job. He looks like a bureaucrat who stopped actually working six years ago and is going through the motions. Get someone who has at least a youthful look to them, and someone who is eager to step in and do the job.
- Pick someone who is reform-minded. The Department of Justice is in desperate need of reform. It needs to be reshaped into something more efficient and less politicized. It needs to be able to do its job without the strings being overly pulled by a chief executive – even Trump himself.
If Trump can find someone who would even want the job and fits this description, then we have a chance to finally help him move past all this pointless drama and focus instead on the investigations that matter – yes, including the Russia investigation.
It’s time for a change. I hope Trump has the courage to make it happen.