Democrats Hypocritical on Recusal
The flap over Jeff Sessions illustrates the usual leftist trait.
Newly installed Attorney General Jeff Sessions is being harshly castigated over conflict of interest allegations that link him to last year’s non-scandal Russia scandal. Unsurprisingly, those Democrats who aren’t calling for his immediate removal from office are urging Sessions to recuse himself from any investigations into Donald Trump’s links to Russia. And, to his credit, that’s just what Sessions did late yesterday. As the National Review editors write, “Government officials ought to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Given that that standard has been honored mainly in the breach over the past eight years — especially in the Justice Department — Sessions’s decision is a marked improvement on the conduct of his most recent predecessors.”
On that note, let’s step back and evaluate several conflicts of interest the Leftmedia sidestepped when Barack Obama was in power. Let’s start with Justice Elena Kagan. Before her promotion to the Supreme Court, Kagan served as Obama’s solicitor general. Her job was to convince the High Court on the legality of Obama’s agenda. After her ascension to the Supreme Court, however, Kagan refused to recuse herself from NFIB v. Sebelius, the contentious ObamaCare case. This is critical because, despite the administration’s assurances, she was clearly involved in defending the health care overhaul as solicitor general. That ruling, you’ll recall, was 5-4, and it had a far bigger impact than any meetings Sessions had with Russian officials.
Then there’s Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Despite being, as Daniel Horowitz wrote last year, “a long-time activist in open borders activism,” she ignored her own prejudice and voted in United States v. Texas. This case pertained to Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program, more accurately described as executive amnesty. The only good thing that can be said of this case is that the 4-4 tie (Justice Antonin Scalia died before the vote) didn’t change a lower court’s ruling. Regardless, if Democrats were truly concerned about impartiality, Sotomayor would have stepped aside.
And finally, recall the utter malfeasance of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who masqueraded last summer’s private meeting with Bill Clinton as a happenstance that included friendly small talk and nothing more. Democrats actually expected Americans to believe the exchange had nothing to do with the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email. Yesterday, Nancy Pelosi even called the meeting “serendipitous.” Despite the obvious conflict of interest, Lynch ultimately refused to recuse herself.
These are just a few examples of non-recusals. Democrat shenanigans go far beyond this. Remember that Eric Holder’s DOJ targeted media outlets and trafficked guns to Mexico as part of an elaborate gun control agenda. Where was the Democrat opposition then? The most embarrassing of hypocrisy came from Sen. Claire McCaskill, who this week claimed on Twitter: “I’ve been on the Armed Services Com for 10 years. No call or meeting w/Russian ambassador. Ever.” Yet that very same Twitter feed reveals that in 2013 and 2015, respectively, she tweeted “Off to meeting w/Russian Ambassador,” and, “Today calls with British, Russian, and German Ambassadors re: Iran deal.” Moreover, some 30 Democrat senators met with the Russian ambassador in 2015 as Obama was hawking his nuclear deal with Iran.
But now, there’s blood in the water, and the Left is doing its best to exploit it. The reality is that the Sessions uproar is a political witch hunt. One that Democrats embark on while ignoring their own hypocrisy.