January 28, 2008 / by emptywheel


The Jeff Sessions-BushCo Mutual Protection Racket

Via CREW, E&P has the news that Jeff Sessions wants to help the Administration evade the Presidential Records Act.

Recalling last year’s infamous "secret hold" that for a while prevented the U.S. Senate from voting the OPEN Government Act, another senator has put a hold on legislation to ensure the records of former presidents cannot be withheld from the public indefinitely.

This time, however, the senator is placing the hold publicly. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R.-Ala., earlier this week blocked the Senate from voting on the Presidential Records Act Amendment of 2007 (H.R. 1255), the National Coalition for History reported.

The legislation would narrow a 2001 executive order from President George W. Bush that gives broad authority for former presidents to prevent public disclosure of their administration records — and for the first time extends the power to former vice presidents.

This is not the first time Sessions has been so willing to help the Administration cover up its own wrong-doing. Documents released in the US Attorney scandal suggest Sessions was running interference when Alberto Gonzales testified before the SJC on the firings; the emails documenting that assistance remain among the very few that have not since been released.

There a very good reason why Jeff Sessions is so helpful at protecting the Administration. After all, the politicized Bush Administration made sure Sessions didn’t get tagged with the influence peddling charges that Don Siegelman got indicted with.

One of the charges against Siegelman, on which he was convicted, was that he had accepted gifts from an Alabama lobbyist. When that lobbyist testified, he made the point that he done the same thing–except in a much larger way—with Alabama Republican Senator Jefferson Sessions, without the Justice Department raising any questions about it. Now, as we have already noted, Judge Fuller owes his judgeship in part to Jefferson Sessions, moreover, he was an active supporter and campaign donor to Sessions’s senatorial campaign.

Moreover, Sessions’s deputy and successor as Alabama Attorney General was Bill Pryor, who played a key role in directing the prosecution of Siegelman. When Sessions’s name came up, the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section lawyer objected, asking that this evidence be excluded, and Fuller complied. No charges were ever brought against Sessions, nor was any investigation ever undertaken. Yet Siegelman was convicted on this charge.

I would imagine Sessions and BushCO will continue their mutual protection racket for some time to come.

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Originally Posted @ https://www.emptywheel.net/2008/01/28/the-jeff-sessions-bushco-mutual-protection-racket/