Our Pledge To You


Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III champions a lost cause — Trump

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about his role in the firing of James Comey, his Russian contacts during the campaign and his decision to recuse from an investigation into possible ties between Moscow and associates of President Donald Trump. | Alex Brandon/AP

Getting shot is no big deal in America. About 309 people get shot every day in this country, and most get little attention from the media.

Unless they happen to be a member of Congress. And wearing a bright red baseball uniform with the word “Republican” in big, flowing white letters on the front.

In that case, getting shot becomes a very big deal. Big enough to make the president of the United States drop his cellphone long enough to go on live TV and promise that “the entire world” was praying for the congressman and others who had been shot Wednesday in Arlington, Virginia.

It saddens me to say I kinda doubt it. We are the 50th deadliest country in the world out of 163. Syria is the most deadly and Iceland the least.

But don’t worry. We have more than 900,000 full-time police officers to protect us. They rank from the humble but essential neighborhood cop to our chief law enforcement officer, the attorney general of the United States.

And if you really believe the attorney general of the United States is out there trying to save you, I would suggest you move to Reykjavik.


Our current attorney general has a name so deliciously bellicose, I am surprised he does not use it. The full name of our current attorney general is Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.

The name alone is enough to make you envision a man on a white steed, gleaming sword in hand, and plumed hat on his head.

Sessions’ name, handed down from grandfather to father to him, pays tribute to Jefferson Davis, the first (and happily last) president of the Confederate States of America, and Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, born Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard, who began the Civil War by shelling Fort Sumter.

Jeff Sessions is, therefore, named for two champions of lost causes, which is why he may have agreed to be Trump’s attorney general, or, as he is known around Washington, Trump’s first attorney general.

Related coverage:

Editorial: Jeff Sessions puts his president before his duty

Lynn Sweet column: Sessions: No collusion, no stonewalling, no recall

I don’t know many people who think he will last out Trump’s first term. Then again, I don’t know of any people who think Trump will last out Trump’s first term.

A small man with Kewpie doll cheeks and flyaway ears, Sessions testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, during which he blustered and whined and often pleaded ignorance. That last one was easy to believe.

“I’m not used to answering so fast,” he groused when Sen. Kamala Harris fired questions at him. “It makes me nervous.”

Considering how many Democrats think Sessions lied under oath, that is the last thing he has to be nervous about.

But he was trying to be scrupulous in his answers, even when the questions barely warranted it.

Sen. Tom Cotton: “Do you like James Bond or Bourne movies?”

Sessions: “No.” (Pause. Embarrassed grin.) “Yes.”

Which pretty much covers it. Except for “maybe.” And “sometimes.”

With such hard-hitting questions, it was difficult to keep in mind the chief reasons for the hearing: To determine if any secret Russian agent colluded with any member of the Trump campaign to damage Hillary Clinton and boost Trump to victory in the 2016 election.

A little after 90 minutes into the hearing, Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine, got down to it.

KING: Do you believe the Russians interfered with the 2016 elections?

SESSIONS: It appears so.

KING: You never sought any information about this rather dramatic attack on our country?


Lightning did not split the sky. Thunder did not boom. This was Washington, where the truth oozes into view rather than crashes.

And it was fitting that Trump and his press corps were flying back to the White House from an event in Milwaukee and so the president had to catch Sessions in spurts on TV.

On Air Force One, principal deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders gaggled with reporters. One asked what Trump thought of Sessions’ testimony.

“He thought that Attorney General Sessions did a very good job,” Sanders said, “and, in particular, was very strong on the point that there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.”

I must have missed that part.

Send letters to: letters@suntimes.com