Politics
Politics

Senate Stops Trump From Replacing Sessions In Recess

| by Lauren Briggs

If President Donald Trump was planning on replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions or any other members of the executive branch while Congress takes a break in August, he's out of luck.

The Senate is out on recess until Sept. 5, which would ordinarily give the president the power to make temporary appointments, except that lawmakers have agreed to meet for pro-forma sessions every few days, reports CNN.

These sessions might only last-minute, but they will ensure the Senate remains active and negate any recess appointment powers Trump would otherwise enjoy.

"I think it's important that there be restraints on the recess appointments," said Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, when asked about a Supreme Court ruling against President Barack Obama's 2012 attempt to appoint members to the National Labor Relations Board while Congress held pro-forma sessions, according to The Hill.

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said his party is "ready to use every single" tool they have "any time, day or night" to prevent Trump from making such appointments.

"It's so vital to the future of the republic," Schumer added.

The House of Representatives is also holding pro-forma sessions. Typically, these happen every three days.

Were Trump to select a new attorney general during the recess to replace Sessions, that person would be authorized to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, notes CNN. They would also be in charge of such investigations into alleged campaign collusion.
 
"If that comes to pass, we will have a constitutional crisis on our hands," Schumer said of the prospect of Trump replacing Sessions, according to CNN. "The Senate should remove even the possibility of it coming about."

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For the moment, Trump has refrained from publicly making negative comments about Sessions after the attorney general recused himself from the Russia investigations. The White House has said that Trump is "disappointed" in Sessions but still wants him to do his job, notes ABC News.

"[Trump is] obviously disappointed but also wants the attorney general to continue to focus on the things that the attorney general does," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in late July, according to ABC News. "He wants him to lead the Department of Justice. He wants to do that strongly. He wants him to focus on things like immigration, leaks and a number of other issues."

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