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Jeff and Pete Sessions Get Booted Out of Washington

Jeff Sessions image by Donkey Hotey via Flickr
Jeff Sessions image by Donkey Hotey via Flickr

It was a bad 24 hours for Republicans named Sessions.

First, last night, Texas Rep. Pete Sessions was ousted by former NFL player Colin Allred in the race for the state’s 32nd Congressional District. As chair of the House Rules Committee, Sessions successfully prevented dozens of cannabis law reform bills from reaching the House floor.

“I refer to marijuana as merchants of addiction,» he said in February at an opioid summit in Dallas. «They’re making it more powerful and more powerful and more powerful. I graduated high school in 1973. Marijuana, on average, is 300 times more powerful [than it was then]. That becomes an addictive element for a child to then go to the next thing… We ought to call it what it is.»

Today, following President Trump’s lengthy press conference about the midterms, Attorney General Jeff Sessions submitted his resignation, which Trump requested. This hardly comes as a surprise. Trump has excoriated Sessions ever since he recused himself from the Mueller investigation in 2017.

Mimicking Trump, new Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has referred to the Mueller investigation as a «witch hunt.»

The former Senator from Alabama quickly became a lightning rod for the administration’s conservative view of cannabis. He once said at a Senate hearing that «good people don’t smoke marijuana» and also joked that he thought the KKK «was OK until I found out hey smoked pot.»

However, perhaps due to his sour relationship with the president, Sessions’ anti-drug efforts were blunted. A widespread crackdown that was once feared when Trump took over the White House has yet to happen.

Sessions’ chief of staff Matthew Whitaker has been named acting attorney general, leaping over embattled deputy AG Rod Rosenstein for the job of the nation’s top lawyer. In another football connection, Whitaker played tight end for the Hawkeyes when he attended the University of Iowa. He was a U.S. attorney in Iowa’s Southern District from 2004-2009 and joined the Justice Department as Sessions’ chief of staff in September. Mimicking Trump, Whitaker has referred to the Mueller investigation as a «witch hunt» and has said Trump’s family finances should not be part of the investigation.

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