It was in July 2017 that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that if Attorney General Jeff Sessions was fired, “there will be holy hell to pay” But as Vox suggests, Graham seems to be singing a totally different song these days.
“I look forward to working with President @realDonaldTrump to find a confirmable, worthy successor so that we can start a new chapter at the Department of Justice and deal with both the opportunities and challenges our nation faces,” Graham posted on Twitter, not long after news broke that Sessions was out as AG.
Jeff Sessions submitted his resignation Wednesday in a letter that WIS News reports read “at your request, I am submitting my resignation.”
There has been media speculation that Graham will actually be the next U.S. Attorney General, which makes Graham’s response even more interesting. When asked if he would serve as Attorney General on Tuesday during the midterm elections, Graham said “no.” However, it appears that Graham has changed his mind.
Donald Trump has reportedly been unhappy with Jeff Sessions for a while now, as the Attorney General recused himself from the Russian investigation that led to Robert Mueller being appointed as a special counsel. Sessions was part of the 2016 campaign that led to Trump’s election to the presidency.
That time when Lindsey Graham promised there would be ‘holy hell to pay’ if Trump fired Sessions https://t.co/hhX0OJjHI2— Daily Kos (@dailykos) November 7, 2018
Graham was “100 percent” behind Sessions in July 2017, but more recently he said it was “very likely” that Sessions would be relieved as AG, according to CBS News. Furthermore, when news broke that Sessions was no longer the AG effective immediately, Graham was perceived to have had a tepid reaction.
“Jeff Sessions served our nation well and honorably,” he said in a tweet.
Other Republicans also quietly bid Sessions good-bye this week and praised his past work, while Democrats expressed worries about what this means for the ongoing Russian investigation. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), a ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a recent statement that “any effort to interfere with the Special Counsel’s investigation would be a gross abuse of power by the President.”
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) used even stronger language, asking, “why is the President making this change and who has authority over Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation?
“We will be holding people accountable,” added Nadler, who is slated to take over as the next chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
Matthew Whitaker, who served as chief of staff for Sessions, will be the acting attorney general until a new AG is appointed. In the interim, he’ll be in charge of overseeing the Mueller investigation.