Jeff Sessions is taking all the public verbal beat-downs from President Donald Trump, but the attorney general has all the leverage, expert onlookers tell Politico.
Trump's latest musing came earlier this week when he tweeted he wished he had chosen someone different to be attorney general, given Sessions' decision to recuse himself from all things Russia.
But short of coercing Sessions into resigning, there's nothing Trump can do that wouldn't draw the ire of congressional Republicans and, far more dangerous, the intense scrutiny of special counsel Robert Mueller.
Sessions has "a ton of leverage," Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor and columnist for National Review, told Politico.
Trump "attempted to persuade [Sessions] to un-recuse himself. Think how much worse it’d be if he fired him because he wouldn’t un-recuse himself," a Republican attorney close to the White House told Politico. "You’re going to be aggravating your problems if you do fire him.”
Further, Senate Republicans have made clear to the president - dating back months - that they fully back Sessions and would not confirm another attorney general.
While that admonition from Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley was about 2017, the Senate's calendar is no less cluttered than it was last year.
Further, Sen. Lindsey Graham said there would "holy hell to pay" if Trump fired Sessions.
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