I was going to gripe about jefferson beauregard sessions III, our new attorney general, but I let it go. He is not, after all, the least suitable person to hold this office, or even the least honest. True, he is fuzzy on the concept of free speech.
One Washington area attorney believes all attorneys-general are inclined to be bad. “Bobby Kennedy, John Mitchell, Janet Reno, John Ashcroft, Gonzales are as sorry a lineup of partisan hacks as ever attained high office, and so clumsy, one and all, that they barely escaped jail. Except for Mitchell, who drew two to eight and served 19 months.”
“Appointment to the Office of Attorney General ought to come with an automatic jail term of one year, because whatever anyone does in that job is bound to stink,” he writes.
This would be an elegant enhancement to the law, let us agree. I wish James Madison had thought of it 240 years ago.
Both of Reagan’s attorneys general ran into ethical controversies. William French Smith sought $66,000 in deductions from an oil and gas tax shelter that the Internal Revenue Service deemed abusive. Meese was investigated by three independent counsels. Two investigations involved his personal finances and one his role in the Iran-contra mess. No charges were brought, but one prosecutor, James McKay, said Meese “probably violated the criminal law,” which Meese denied.
Alberto Gonzales, AG under George Bush:
In the wake of the politically tinged dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys, a New York Times editorial detailed the damage Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has done to the Constitution before directly calling for his dismissal. “He has never stopped being consigliere to Mr. Bush’s imperial presidency,” the Times wrote. Also Sen. Chuck Schumer faulted Gonzales for putting politics above the law and asked the AG to resign.
As for Jeff Sessions, his main problem seems to be a deficit in grey matter.
The Guardian 4 May 2017:
A jury in Washington has convicted a woman who was arrested after laughing during a confirmation hearing for the attorney general, Jeff Sessions.
Desiree Fairooz, an activist with the leftwing NGO Code Pink, was found guilty of engaging in “disorderly or disruptive conduct” with the intent to disrupt congressional proceedings, as well as “parading, demonstrating or picketing”.
The charges stem from the hearing on 10 January, when Sessions’ then colleague, fellow Alabama Republican senator Richard Shelby, said Sessions’ record of “treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented”.
Fairooz laughed out loud twice at this claim, and according to the charges filed by the prosecutor, “grew loud and more disruptive” as an officer attempted to remove her from the room.
“Her disruptive behavior included yelling that Senator Sessions’ ‘voting record was evil’ and waving a sign that read: ‘Support civil rights, stop Sessions’.”