After Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a call for the resignation of all 46 U.S. Attorneys who still remained from the Obama administration, media outlets were outraged, conveniently forgetting that this isn’t the first time this sort of thing has occurred.
Headlines across the country expressed shock over Sessions’ decision to “drain the swamp” within his own division.
- The New York Times: Trump Abruptly Orders 46 Obama-Era Prosecutors to Resign
- New York Magazine: The DOJ Just Called for the Firing of 46 Obama-Appointed U.S. State’s Attorneys, Including Preet Bharara
- CNN: Anger Mounts over Handling of US Attorney Firing
- Vanity Fair: Trump’s Firing of U.S. Attorneys Raises Eyebrows, Prompts Conflict
- Politics USA: Trump Fires All 46 Remaining US Attorneys Out Of Fear That Obama’s Out To Get Him
Some media outlets even credited Fox News’ Sean Hannity for the decision to ask the attorneys to resign:
— Rick Hasen (@rickhasen) March 11, 2017
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) March 12, 2017
However, there were people who noted that nothing either President Trump or Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions has done is outrageous — or even unprecedented.
Many even pointed out that this particular decision — calling for the resignation of the remaining 46 U.S. Attorneys — is quite reminiscent of Bill Clinton.
Shortly after taking office in 1993, President Clinton authorized Atty. Gen. Janet Reno’s purge of the Department of Justice, calling for 93 resignations simultaneously — and then-U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions would know very well as he was one of them.
— Michelle Piper (@MichellePiper18) March 11, 2017
After being appointed the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama by President Ronald Reagan and serving through President George H.W. Bush, Sessions was fired by incoming president Bill Clinton.
At least a few sources got it right:
- National Review: Sessions’s Firing of 46 Obama-Appointed U.S. Attorneys Isn’t Scandalous
- Slate: Yes, Trump and Sessions Just Cleaned House at the DOJ. No, It’s Not Shocking.
As the Independent Journal Review noted:
“Even if it were unprecedented — should not come as a surprise. President Trump ran on a few very specific promises, one of which was that he would ‘drain the swamp.’ It seems more than likely that the DOJ (in particular, any leftover appointees from the previous administration) is part of that ‘swamp.'”
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