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The most popular dish of September at the White House commissary may well turn out to be Fricassee of Jeff Sessions.
The attorney general, who has been on Donald Trump's chopping block since he recused himself from the Russia investigation a mere six weeks into his then already embattled presidency, has appeared to grow a semblance of a spine in rebuffing Trump's demands that the Justice Department do his bidding, Constitution be damned. And more important to the big picture, has refused thus far to become an actor in the alternate universe occupied by Trump and his congressional sycophancy where there is a vast deep state plot to avenge Hillary Clinton's defeat by destroying his presidency.
The question is not whether the president will fire Sessions -- and probably Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, to boot -- but on what trumped-up pretense.
Despite harrumphing from a some senators, among them a few Republicans who threaten to hold up the nomination of a Sessions successor and protect Mueller and his indictment-rich investigation, the Republicans who matter to Trump are warming to the idea, chief among them his new poodle, Lindsey Graham.
Graham, who in the words of Dana Milbank of The WaPo "sealed his transition from apostate to Trump apparatchik" last week as his former sidekick in maverick-ness, John McCain, was being memorialized, suggested on "Fox and Friends," the president's favorite alternate universe teevee show, that the poor guy ought to have an AG he can depend on. Translation: It's okay by me for Trump to further trash the rule of law by firing a guy who won't be his poodle, at least not when it comes to the Russia scandal.
Lest anyone miss what Graham, who happens to be a former military lawyer, was saying on Fox News after flipping and flopping for months on the matter of Trump's culpability, he added, "Word of caution to the public. A lot of people try to convict President Trump. Don't be so fast.
"I have seen no evidence of collusion after two years," he continued, dutifully parroting his master's line in declaring in a kind of on-air Tweetspeak. "Plenty of corruption at the Department of Justice and the FBI. Should be stunning. Not one Democrat seems to care. They gave a politically corrupt document to get a warrant . . . Christopher Steele was on the payroll of the Democratic Party."
And, for good measure, Graham insisted as has Trump, that we've gotten it all wrong. Vladimir Putin actually tried to help Clinton, not the other way around.
|ANDREW HARNIK / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS|
That alternate universe is working insidiously well in keeping Trump's sycophancy and the MAGA crowd at heel. As well as commanding an unwarranted amount of attention in a mainstream media that Trump brands "the enemy of the people" but still is far too deferential to a malignant narcissist run amok who regrettably happens to be president.
And because this Russia scandal thing is really complicated (my scandal timeline is closing in on an astonishing 1,400 entries), there is the drumbeat of developments that for the slack of jaw and challenged of truth contain enough scraps of seemingly conspiratorial behavior to further sate denizens of the deep-state plot fever swamp.
That is hugely the case with a New York Times blockbuster published Saturday evening on the clandestine efforts of FBI agents and the Justice Department to flip Oleg Deripaska and other Russian oligarchs whose fortunes depend on sucking up to Putin.
This noble if unsuccessful stab at getting at the root of Russian organized crime and later the Trump campaign's involvement in Kremlin election meddling happens to have included two major players in the deep-state fantasy -- Steele, the evil dossier compiler in Satan's garb, and Bruce Ohr, a mid-level Justice Department official specializing in Russian organized crime whose friendship with Steele dates back to 2006 and is the subject of angry Trump tweets and threats to revoke his security clearance, as well as a recent seven-hour lynching by two Republican-led House committees.
Although you probably are as tired of reading it as I am of writing it, Trump's day of reckoning is coming.
I wouldn't lie to you.
The Democrats will take back the House. Impeachment proceedings will commence. The seven separate law enforcement investigations into Trump, his family and associates -- felons all -- will draw blood as Trump's approval ratings will continue to hurtle southward. But the shattering of the norms of decency, including the embrace of racism and hate, and damage that the attacks on the media, the alternate universe of the deep-state monomaniacs and Graham and his fellow traveler sycophants will have inflicted on America is incalculable.
I wouldn't lie to you about that, either.
Click HERE for a comprehensive timeline of the Russia scandal
and related developments.