Guest: Trump needs Sessions now more than ever
In taking on the political establishment and draining the swamp, President Trump has had no greater ally than Jeff Sessions. Alabama would be well-served to have him back as our United States Senator.
During the first two years of the Trump administration, I saw Senator Sessions’ commitment to the president’s agenda first-hand as one of his deputies, in charge of the nomination and confirmation of federal judges. The day after Neil Gorsuch was nominated to the Supreme Court, I was one of the first people Justice Gorsuch met with, laying out the path we would take to his confirmation. While Democrats and the press were slandering his good name, I was in a room with Brett Kavanaugh, preparing him to defend his honor against one of the worst smear campaigns this country has ever seen.
Senator Sessions was with us every step of the way, and his commitment went beyond the Supreme Court battles that garner most of the headlines. When it came to getting federal judges confirmed, there was no resource we needed that he didn’t make available to us, never any concern we had that wasn’t addressed. No one who worked for him had any question that Senator Sessions understood the importance of confirming judges to the bench who understand the limited role of the judiciary, who believed that words matter, and who would interpret statutes and the Constitution according to the text rather than their own beliefs or desires. And now President Trump hasn’t only confirmed more judges at this point in his administration than any president in history, he’s confirmed better, more conservative judges than any president before him.
But it wasn’t just judges where Jeff Sessions played an instrumental role in the success of this president. On illegal immigration, fighting crime, restoring respect for the rule of law across the government, Senator Sessions was at the forefront. That’s no surprise. Before opposing the political establishment and draining the swamp were the president’s priorities, they were Jeff Sessions’ priorities in the Senate. It’s a fight he’s been leading for decades, on behalf of our state and our nation.
Not that it was always easy. We faced criticism, from within and without. But Senator Sessions never wavered in his mission. He never stopped working to accomplish the president’s agenda. He was always open with us about the challenges we were facing and how he planned on tackling them. His message was always the same. We’d stick to our principles. We’d do the right thing, no matter what the critics might say.
Those were more than just words to him. He’d lived them, every day, across more than 40 years of service to the people of Alabama. And he lived them when the law and ethical requirements of his office dictated he recuse from the Russia investigation. It’s unfortunate that a Democratic conspiracy theory bred in the fever swamps of Washington, D.C. drove a wedge between the president and Senator Sessions. There’s little doubt that the country would be better off if it had never happened. But the pressing issues of the day compel us to put our focus on the future, not the past.
Before the coronavirus was in the headlines, Senator Sessions was warning about the danger China posed — to our economy, to our security, to our influence in the world. The next few years will determine whether this century will be defined by American values and American priorities, or whether it will belong to China. Now is not the time for political novices representing our state in our highest offices. We cannot afford to have our next senator learn on the job. We need experience, we need political courage, and we need someone who has demonstrated both over a career of service.
We have the opportunity to have just that by sending Jeff Sessions back to Washington as our senator. We are fortunate that he is seeking to serve our state again. We need him — and President Trump needs him — now more than ever.
Brett Talley is a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Trump administration.