Judge Jeanine Pirro is apparently looking to get back into jurisprudence, and her return would be at the highest level possible — the position of attorney general.
According to a report from Politico, the popular Fox News host and former Westchester County, New York district attorney and judge is looking to replace Jeff Sessions at the head of the Justice Department.
“A former prosecutor and judge, Pirro has repeatedly told Trump’s aides and advisers over the past 18 months that she’s interested in taking over as the nation’s top law enforcement official, according to four people familiar with the conversations,” Politico reported Thursday.
“Trump has dangled the possibility of giving her a top appointment. During a November meeting in the Oval Office, the president raised the possibility of nominating Pirro to a federal judgeship, according to a former administration official, though this person added that Trump was more likely engaging in flattery than seriously considering putting Pirro on the bench.”
Her Fox News colleagues have apparently “laughed” at her prospects at getting a senior position within the Trump administration.
However, as Politico points out, the president has “demonstrated a penchant for bringing cable news stars into his administration — most recently tapping CNBC commentator Larry Kudlow to be his top economic adviser.”
It’s a pick like that which might actually prove that Judge Jeanine could be moving from the TV to the Justice Department, although the move would generate quite a few eyebrow-raises.
That said, we’ve seen signs that Attorney General Sessions probably oughtn’t be making Labor Day plans in Washington D.C. The president has been extremely critical of Sessions over his decision to recuse himself from anything involving the Russia investigation, which has opened the administration up to the Mueller circus.
In fact, the president made it clear (yet again) he wouldn’t have chosen Sessions had he known about his meetings with then-Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak.
The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax continues, all because Jeff Sessions didn’t tell me he was going to recuse himself…I would have quickly picked someone else. So much time and money wasted, so many lives ruined…and Sessions knew better than most that there was No Collusion!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2018
“The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax continues, all because Jeff Sessions didn’t tell me he was going to recuse himself…I would have quickly picked someone else,” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “So much time and money wasted, so many lives ruined…and Sessions knew better than most that there was No Collusion!”
And, if Trump wants someone who is going to speak out perfervidly in support of the administration, there’s few who would match Judge Jeanine for that task. Take a look at her eviscerating take on establishment Republicans who more or less forced the White House’s hand on the omnibus:
Given that this is a DOJ that’s hemmed and hawed on documents related to its investigations during the 2016 election of both the Clinton email scandal and the Trump campaign, and has recently been seen potentially offering a plea deal to former Democrat IT specialist Imran Awan over financial misdoings, you can imagine a more aggressive approach under a Pirro-led DOJ. And, above all, she wouldn’t have to recuse herself on matters relating to the Russia investigation.
However, a firing of Sessions could rankle many Republicans. The former Alabama senator was the first in the upper chamber to endorse the president at a time when it was considered by the media to be tantamount to career suicide and Trump’s path to the nomination was far from secure. He gave up what was essentially a lifetime seat in the Senate to join the administration, a seat which fell to the Democrats in a special election after the Roy Moore debacle.
The president is big on loyalty and wants it from other Republicans; that would be difficult from a recalcitrant Senate if Sessions — a well-respected federal prosecutor before he came to the Senate — is summarily dismissed for a cable TV lawyer.
If Pirro has trouble getting confirmed by the Senate, that would likely be a major blow for the Trump administration. Even if her nomination is approved, a significant investiture of time would derail other judicial nominees whose appointment could be more beneficial to conservative goals in the longer term. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already canceled the traditional August recess to sort through the backlog before the midterms. The Democrats are bound to slow down Pirro’s nomination if they can, just as they’ve been doing to judicial candidates. All they need is a few skeptical Republicans to kill it entirely.
Could Pirro be the next head at the DOJ? Stranger things have happened, and Trump’s appointment of Larry Kudlow has indicated he’s willing to consider talent from the media pool. Pirro’s been by Trump’s side since the beginning and has been particularly critical of Sessions, who she’s called “the most dangerous man in America.” She’s most known for giving opening statements on her show, but her comments on Sessions could end up being a closing argument that the president can’t resist.