Higher Learning for the Conservative Mind

Jeff_Sessions,_official_portrait.png

Jeff Sessions, President Trump, and the Department of Justice

Share

HUGH HEWITT: Morning glory, America. It's Hugh Hewitt. That music means it's the last radio hour of the week, in the ReliefFactor.com studios inside the Beltway. And I'm laughing, not because Dr. Matt Spalding is joining me, the director of the Hillsdale College Kirby Center in the shadow of the Capitol, The Lighthouse of Reason on the Capitol Hill, but because I've been reading during the break, Dan Snow, the history guy, and his tweet this morning. Matt, good morning. How are you, my friend?

MATT SPALDING: Good morning. I'm fine. How are you?

HUGH HEWITT: Well, good. 713 years ago, on this day, Sir William Wallace was dragged naked to Smithfield in London. He was strangled, castrated, disemboweled, and then his insides were burnt in front of him while he was still just alive. Then he was beheaded and chopped into quarters. His crime, according to the English, was high treason. His retort, “I could not be a traitor to Edward, for I was never his subject.”

But then the comments include—I can't take the Lord's name in vain, but it said the Lord's name—“was he OK?”

Only history geeks think that is a funny level of humor. Oh.

MATT SPALDING: And here I thought he was just yelling freedom.

HUGH HEWITT: That's what I thought. I thought he got up and walked away after he said freedom.

MATT SPALDING: The movie wasn't right?

HUGH HEWITT: Matt Spalding, it's good to have you. I may be a little giddy because I have been following the story all day.

MATT SPALDING: There is good news today. This is, as you know, this is pre-opening, which is the first day that begins a semester out on the campus. Everyone is getting ready for students coming back. We're going to have school again this year. And I am the designated survivor. It's like the state of the union, I'm not there for the security of the nation.

HUGH HEWITT: It's kind of like opening day at Hillsdale. That's very cool. Look, I'm glad to have you because you spend your time thinking about matters constitutional, as they do at the Kirby Center all the time. And I don't think that I have ever confronted a situation in American history where the Attorney General and the President of the United States are at public loggerheads, but getting along fine when they're together at the White House, and throwing bricks at each other through their press spokesman, the very estimable Sarah Flores Isgur, or on Twitter, as the President's been doing all morning. What do you make of this?

MATT SPALDING: Well, the only thing I can say-- I'm here trying to think of historical analogies. I mean, it really does remind you of what it might have been like when you had Hamilton and Jefferson in your cabinet, right? I mean, these are major figures arguing, but even that doesn't quite come to the same type of thing going on here. This is, the President and his own Attorney General are publicly arguing. This is very unusual.

But I think it also kind of shows you the broader stakes of what's going on and the extent to which this has become a very broad political question. And to some extent, I see the Trump-Sessions divide as representing these two different ways of looking at the question. I think [Jeff] Sessions, Attorney General, he's looking at-- this is a legal question, it's a tactical matter. He's recused himself. Now he's going on carrying out the office of Attorney General.

I think the President, rightly, in this case, sees beyond the legal technicalities of these indictments and plea bargains. What's going on here [is] the much larger political question, which of course, is largely the way the Constitution set it up. There are technical questions, but ultimately, it's a political question, which is why I think much more so than the situation warrants, but on both the left and right, there is an impeachment fervor. That's a political question.

HUGH HEWITT: In fact, I made an argument this week. An impeachable offense, if a majority of the House says it is. Wearing black shoes and a brown belt. If they want to call that an impeachable offense, they can call that an impeachable offense. It's all political. It's laid out in Federalist69 by Hamilton. But I saw yesterday some arguments by Democrats eager for the President to be indicted. Matt, that's just not possible. You can't indict the President.

MATT SPALDING: Well, this gets back to-- what they're realizing is there-- those are tactical problems. So I think what they're doing is they're trying to push beyond the tactical problems to the political questions. I mean, I think the plea bargain with Michael Cohen, it seems to me to be fraught with all sorts of questions that have to be gone through, but the argument, as I see it, is there was no tactical violation here on behalf of the President.

There's some details about-- I've read the plea agreement. He was clearly going after on the main indictments. And then he agreed to that last one, which is very unclear and vague. And the campaign finance laws are extremely complicated. I think what's going on now is they're trying to just push through those, push through all that vagueness and get to that political question.

And I think that's what-- I think there was not the plea agreement or the Manafort decisions. That wasn't a turning point when it comes to a legal question. It wasn't as much a great success of Mueller's legal work. I think though it was a certain political threshold that opened this door to this political question. And I think that you see the anti-Trump right and the left, they're just jumping on this bandwagon like crazy. It's an amazing event.

HUGH HEWITT: The Mueller conviction [of Cohen] -- first of all, he's a bad guy. And he should not have been representing foreign governments without registering. He should have been paying his taxes. He's a bad guy. He's going to go to jail. I don't know how long he should go to jail for. But that was executed by the Mueller team in order to gain leverage over him. And there is news this morning that David Pecker, who is the chief of the National Enquirer, the chairman of American Media Inc., has entered into an immunity deal. Long term story has been that Mr. Pecker practiced catch and kill, pay for a story, and then lock it in his safe in order to protect Donald Trump. An immunity deal that opens that safe would genuinely be a disaster for the President, correct?

MATT SPALDING: No. I think so. And I think any of these things, at the very least, there's a constant drip drip drip. But potentially there are things there that we just don't know about, which is, I think, it was exactly part of the problem he's facing, which is the political unknowns here are going to continue for some time.

HUGH HEWITT: So Matt Spalding, you and I have both called balls and strikes like Dr. Arnn and I have called balls and strikes. On the plus side, we have the lowest youth unemployment since 1966. I've been using that because it's a talking point that everybody understands because everyone had a mom or a dad that said get a job. And when you couldn't get a job, you could always say, there aren't any jobs. Well, there are jobs everywhere. You can't walk around a street in Washington without seeing a “help wanted” sign.

Everyone who wants a job in America can work. The economy is booming. And the President, normally, would be coasting to a re-election or an off-year election that would be very good. On the other hand, there is this extraordinary venom towards him. I would say among 30% of the country, maybe 40%. How does this play out, do you think?

MATT SPALDING: Well, this is hard. It's hard to say because I think part of what has happened here is-- I think, there's an extraordinary amount of unsettling [things] about him. People don't like many of his ways. I'm thinking here of his Twitter [account]. But also some of his personal life. But there's another side of that conversation I think, which is on the one hand a virtue, on the one hand a vice.

I mean, the virtue of it is I think that this President has broken through a certain subtle doctrinal view of the political parties in a way that has opened all this up. And I see that as a great virtue because it opens up politics in a way that hadn't been open for some time before. We're having debates, we're having discussions, we're having arguments. The problem with that is that his opponents, his policy opponents, those who thought the country was going in a certain direction with some debate back and forth was generally on their side, they now see this as a larger existential debate going on in the country.

I think they're actually right about that. Whether he's leading it or whether he's enunciating it or whether he is going to continue to direct it, I'm thinking long term here, is another question. But he's clearly broken up open that conversation. He's the deconstructionist President. And now we're looking toward the future, both political parties see those terms.

And I think because of that, his divisiveness, and now the going after the jugular with these legal questions, which are now becoming political questions, has taken on a new meaning that, again, reminds me of actually 19th century politics when you can imagine you are in the 1820s when the Jackson forces were coming back after having lost the election over a supposed deal with Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams. This is big politics--

HUGH HEWITT: Yeah, my analogy-- My analogy is all of us have seen films of when a stadium is blown up or a casino is brought down. And they wire it, and they set it off, and no one is hurt. Donald Trump has basically done that to Washington DC, but he didn't tell anyone. So there were people standing around when the stadium came down. And they've been hurt by the flying debris.

I'll be right back with Matt Spalding, director of the Hillsdale College Kirby Center, as we talk about the deconstructionist President that is Donald Trump and nullification. Believe it or not, that debate is back too. Don't go anywhere. See Hugh Hewitt Show.

Welcome back, America, to the ReliefFactor.com studio. It is time for the Hillsdale Dialogue to continue. This week with Dr. Matthew Spalding, the director of the Kirby Center Hillsdale College's Lantern of Lighthouse of Reason in the shadow of the Capitol. All things Hillsdale are collected at Hillsdale.edu, including your application, should you want to attend that fine institution this time next year. And all of our conversations dating back to 2013 are collected at hughforhillsdale.com.

Before we go into the Article One control of the AG, Matt Spalding, I want to play for you Rudy Giuliani in Scotland yesterday. Talking as Rudy does bluntly about everything. Cut number five.

SPEAKER: Do the events of the past 48 hours bring a sit-down interview with Robert Mueller any closer?

RUDY GIULIANI: Probably they bring it less likely, but not impossible.

SPEAKER: Most likely, why?

RUDY GIULIANI: Most likely because I don't think he has to. I mean, there's nothing he can provide that Mueller doesn't have. Now, the fact is that Mueller so far hasn't accepted Cohen's cooperation. They're begging him on television. And Mueller is a smart enough man to know that he doesn't want a big liar, like Cohen, in the middle of his case. If he sticks with that, maybe we'll see.

SPEAKER: Should Paul Manafort be pardoned by the President?

RUDY GIULIANI: Oh, that's up to the President. I'm not his government counsel. I'm his personal counsel. I have nothing to do with that. If you'll ask me, Paul Manafort has been treated very unfairly. The man was put in solitary confinement, which turned out to be almost like civil cases. Not real crimes. It's not like he's a terrorist or organized criminal or a killer. They have the man in solitary confinement. That's terrible.

SPEAKER: Would impeachment not put all these allegations to the appropriate authority?

RUDY GIULIANI: I think impeachment would be totally horrible. I mean, there's no reason. He didn't collude with the Russians. He didn't obstruct justice. Everything Cohen says has been disproved. You'd only impeach him for political reasons. And the American people would revolt against that.

HUGH HEWITT: The American people would revolt against that. Do you agree with that bottom line assessment? I wrote a Washington Post column this week making the same point. Matthew Spalding, we're so far away from impeachment, but it's on every cable pundits lips.

MATT SPALDING: Right, right. No, I think it's-- again, I think there are different constituencies here, if you want to put it that way. As far as the American people are concerned, I think we're far away from impeachment. Even if the Democrats win the House, I think it's unlikely that they're going to immediately move to impeachment. I think the pressure among Democrats elected in marginal districts, they're not going to be wanting to go that way.

I don't think the leadership wants to go that way. But having said that, there's another constituency here, which is this kind of elite popular opinion punditry that do want to go that way. I don't know about you, but I was amazed by the calls about impeachment, especially among on the right, the Gersons, the Max Boots of the world. And there's a different debate. And I think what they're trying to do is set up a kind of an intellectual inevitability of this logic that pushes in this direction to set this up for the future.

So Giuliani and, I think, the President's defenders are correct when they point out that the legal questions, which the Mueller investigation was set up to pursue, they have found nothing. We've long past and forgot about the collusion issue. It's not even a question anymore. We're now into the area where murky questions having to do with personal matters, there are individuals who have committed illegalities. What that means to the President is unclear.

It's now crossing a threshold into a political question. And I think they've got to be very careful here because the general population, and polling suggests this, is they are not wanting to go down that road right now. Of course, that's exactly how the political elites will push this issue and start laying the groundwork for it.

HUGH HEWITT: But I think in terms-- 30 seconds to the break, Matt Spalding. We have to be very blunt with the American public. That's what's ahead if they vote for Nancy Pelosi. I mean, they're just going to have to do it given their base.

MATT SPALDING: I think that's absolutely right. Given the base and given the logical way they have laid this out. They're going to push this. It will go that way. And I think there's probably no way they can stop it.

HUGH HEWITT: That's what I think. We'll come right back, Dr. Matt Spalding. And I talk about an Attorney General, what he does and doesn't do, what she does or doesn't do with the President, and what the White House counsel does and doesn't do, and what the private counsel of the President does and doesn't do, because it never gets explained on cable. Stay tuned. It is the Hillsdale Dialogue. I'm Hugh Hewitt.

Welcome back, America. It's Hugh Hewitt from the ReliefFactor.com studio inside the Beltway. I'm joined by Dr. Matthew Spalding, President of the Kirby Center, the director of the Kirby Center, which is Hillsdale College's lantern of sweet reason in the shadow of the Capitol. Dr. Spalding, I want to go back and play, or read for our audience a series of tweets the President put out this morning, because, indeed, he has been tweeting.

Three hours ago at 5:30 in the morning, the President wrote, “Target CEO rages about the economy. This is the best consumer environment I've seen in my career. Big statement from the talk executive, but virtually everybody is saying this. And when our trade deals are made, cost cutting done, you won't have seen anything yet.” Then he wrote, “two hours ago, our economy is setting records on every front, probably the best our country has ever done. Tremendous value created since the election. The world is respecting us again. Companies are moving back to the USA.”

HUGH HEWITT: Then, immediately, he switches from economic tweets to Jeff Sessions. “Department of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.” He's quoting Jeff Sessions statement yesterday. “Jeff,” writes the President, “this is GREAT. What everyone wants, so look into all the corruption on the other side, including deleted e-mails, Comey lies and leaks, Mueller's conflicts, McCabe, Strzok, Page, or FISA abuse, Christopher Steele and his phony and corrupt dossier, the Clinton Foundation, illegal surveillance of Trump campaign, Russian collusion by Dems, and so much more.”

“Open up the papers and the documents without redactions, question mark. Come on, Jeff, you can do it. The country is waiting.” Then he wrote, “ex-NSA contractor to spend 63 months in jail over classified information. Gee, this is small potatoes compared to what Hillary Clinton did. So unfair, Jeff, double standards.” And then finally, “social media giants are silencing millions of people. Can't do this, even if it means we must continue to hear fake news, like CNN, whose ratings have suffered gravely.”

People have to figure out what is real and what is not without censorship. All right, Matt Spalding, you tell me what that means.

MATT SPALDING: Part of the problem here is that-- and you alluded to before the break about the different positions here-- the Attorney General is appointed by the President, serves the President's will, is under the President, and is the top legal officer for the country. He's recused himself. This creates a very big problem. How, why is that recusal?

He recused himself on the Russian collusion question, but now we've gone off, way off into other areas. Does that mean he's completely recused on all of this investigation? Is he not in a position where he can actually defend on some other questions because we're off on different areas? And what about all these other things?

So on the one hand, the President makes the correct point that he seems to have withdrawn himself too broadly, which leaves the President, for all intents and purposes, without an Attorney General on some very important questions. He's running the department. He's a very good man. But on one of the most important questions, which is not merely a political question, but is a constitutional question, the consequence of having to do with the status of all of these questions before the courts, but also of this Presidency.

He's without that back up. And I think he wants to see his Attorney General engage in this debate, in this fight. To some extent, recognizing the extent and the limit of the Attorney General's responsibilities and powers.

HUGH HEWITT: Now, here is what Jeff Sessions has to be thinking about. I think he's a very fine man. And I had lunch yesterday with a couple of senior DOJ people who tell me he's running a great department, that the department is doing great stuff.

MATT SPALDING: I think it's right. I agree.

HUGH HEWITT: They're fighting a lot of legal battles. They're winning a lot of legal battles. But on the central issue, I want to remind people of early 1973. Then Vice President Spiro Agnew was investigated by the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland on suspicion of conspiracy, bribery, extortion, and tax fraud. He had accepted kickbacks when he was governor of Maryland and kept getting the money when he became Vice President.

And after months in maintaining his innocence, one day, he just simply pled no contest for a single felony charge of tax evasion, and resigned his office. That was a precursor of what was coming on. One US attorney did that because the Department of Justice delegates authority to a US attorney. All the US attorneys in the United States can do stuff, unless the Attorney General of the United States is telling them not to do stuff.

And the President's anger is because he expected an Eric Holder-like, got-my-back AG, and he hasn't got that. Is he right to be disappointed? And ought the Attorney General to consider stepping aside?

MATT SPALDING: Well, I think he's right to be disappointed. One of the jobs of the Attorney General is to run the Justice Department. Now, I agree with you in all of the things. He's doing a job. He's restored the rule of law essentially to the Department of Justice. But on these important questions, which have expanded. I mean, [Rod] Rosenstein has expanded the authority of Mueller to look into other questions.

He's way beyond the collusion question that the Attorney General recused himself on. And that's out of control. And I think that it's-- now it's completely subject to other people that do not seem to be acting as if they were not under the constitutional authority of the President. And this has gotten out of control. I mean, the Attorney General is under the President, the deputies under the President, which means Mueller ultimately is under the President.

And one of the things I worry about in all of this matter is the growing extent to which we just kind of set aside the norm as the rule of law in how we're going about figuring this out. There are questions that should be investigated. There are important issues to be looked at. There clearly have been criminal things that have occurred that are being looked into. But where is the rule of law, the judicial rule of law that should be applied to these cases.

And I think the President is showing increasing frustration about that because the Justice Department-- one of the reasons we have a Justice Department, one of the reasons we have a Supreme Law of the land constitutional system is to keep control of those things. So we are ruled by the law and not by men, as John Adams famously said. And the AG is the one that keeps control of that.

HUGH HEWITT: Yeah, and we've had one from 1789 forward, Edmund Randolph as the first, good Virginian. And they always had a double hat, right? They've had to protect the White House. They've also had to protect Article One, but they've had to do the Rule of Law. Ben Sasse, senator from Nebraska, smart guy, went on the floor of the Senate yesterday and said this. Cut number eight.

BENJAMIN E. SASSE: Jeff Sessions' statement today that the U.S. Department of Justice is filled with honorable, dispassionate career prosecutors, who execute their job in ways that the American people should be proud of is indisputably true. What he said is something that basically everybody in this body knows and agrees with. And yet, bizarrely, there are people in this body now talking like the Attorney General will be fired, should be fired. I'm not sure how to interpret the comments of the last couple of hours, but I guess I would just like to say as a member of the Judiciary Committee and as a member of this body, I find it really difficult to envision any circumstance where I would vote to confirm a successor to Jeff Sessions if he is fired because he's executing his job rather than choosing to act as a partisan hack.

HUGH HEWITT: Now, the thing that the Senator, who is a friend, doesn't get is that if the Attorney General resigns or is fired, the President under the Vacancies Act can move over Dan Coats, Alex Acosta from HHS-- I mean, from Labor, Secretary Azar from HHS, any of the fine lawyers in the administration for 210 days. And then if he nominates a new Attorney General, say, a Mike Luttig, who was the runner up to be the Chief Justice, then another 210 days. So you have 420 days of an acting Attorney General, who would be in charge of the Russia investigation.

So it seems to me that that is an excellent bit of rhetoric, but neither here nor there, if the President wants Sessions to go, he just fires him. So my question is, why not do that, rather than this public flogging?

MATT SPALDING: Well, so this gets into this-- we're in this gray area, where we've gone from a somewhat smaller tactical debate and now we're moving into the political realm. These are political questions. I think Senator Sasse goes-- his first comment was cracked, but he goes a little bit too far. The Attorney [General] wears both those hats, and I think we've gotten to a point where there's some real questions at hand that the President needs to address.

I mean, look, if the President wanted to really play this, he clearly has the authority, not only in terms of replacing his Attorney General, but he could easily pardon everybody involved in the Mueller investigation, and then invite Mueller to issue a statement saying, put out a report asking for my impeachment. This is a political question. Completely throughout all these legal questions that you're going after. You're going after me. Let's make this a political question.

HUGH HEWITT: Interesting. That's 19th century-- that's dueling. That's grass before breakfast. That really brings the competing political parties to a confrontation prior to--

MATT SPALDING: But that's what's going on here, right? They're leveraging up. He leverage up. What they're not used to is a political-- is a President who fights on their terms. They're each going up this ladder, and I think that the President's not going to back down.

HUGH HEWITT: This is so interesting, Matt. So you're saying escalate, don't deescalate. Ratchet up, don't ratchet down. Bring it out into the open. In other words, all the poisons in the system, draw them out.

MATT SPALDING: Well, look, when you read the Federalist Papersand you see the arguments of the founders, think about the case of Lincoln. The argument has always been not to hide things, it's to bring them out, ultimately, to let the American people decide. Make them political questions. I think we need to figure out a way to de-escalate the venom of the political debate. But I think we need to have a deliberative, open conversation about what is really going on here.

We're not talking about legal technicalities anymore. They're clearly going after these other minute figures to go after the President as a political question. The Attorney General, an excellent man, he recused himself. I think that should've been discussed earlier. At this point, that's become a political question as well. What do you do about it?

These are now larger questions, which have to do with the whole standing of this administration, the relationship between the legislative branch and the executive branch, the presidency. The American people really deserve, I think, to have that-- that's what's being talked about here. That's where this issue needs to be talked about openly, rather than by subterfuge.

HUGH HEWITT: When we come back from break, we're going to talk about whether that is even possible. Because in the world in which we live, which is both Twitter and cable driven and talk radio driven, to a certain extent, it's social media driven, I don't know that you can have a conversation like that that would ever get through. We'll talk about that with Matt Spalding, director of the Kirby Center at Hillsdale College. All things Hillsdale are found at Hillsdale.edu. All of our conversations at hughforhillsdale.com dating back to 2013. When we come back. I'll be right back. Matt Spalding with the last segment of the last radio hour of the week, next on the Hugh Hewitt Show.

Welcome back, America. It's Hugh Hewitt in the ReliefFactor.com studio inside the Beltway. Last segment of the week with Dr. Matt Spalding. He's the executive director of the Kirby Center Hilldale College's center of excellence in the nation's Capitol.

Matt, during the break, I was checking Twitter, and Adam Davidson is a New Yorkerstaff writer and has done a lot of investigative reporting, clearly loathes Trump. But what he wrote is interesting, it goes to what you just said. “One key development this week,” wrote Adam Davidson 13 minutes ago, “that shouldn't be missed. There are now so many investigations, Mueller, SDNY, Southern District of New York, New York Attorney General into Trump and his cronies that they cannot be stopped, even by a reckless President.”

Now, that is a narrative building meme, right? In fact, there aren't that many investigations, there's one. It's Mueller's. And everything is a spin-off of Mueller's. And number two, they can be stopped, or they can play up. And number three, I don't even think the President minds it too much. I don't know that it's good or bad for the country that all this poison is coming out, but that's the left's narrative. They really are gunning to get him out of office.

MATT SPALDING: No, that's right. Look, I don't know what the right answer here is. I just-- I mean, looking-- just coming back and looking back before, I think we have to understand that we're having a political conversation, and the press and the commentators want to mask it in some sort of legal legitimacy of a process. And I think what the American people deserve is to know that this is a broader political question. And let's have an open conversation about that.

How do you get there? Can we get there? I don't know. But I think we should be looking at things now from a broader political point of view. I mean, pushing out Sessions, trying to get rid of Mueller is a political problem, and would cause a political controversy. It wouldn't clear the air anymore. I raised the question about using the pardons and calling their bluff about impeachment, not because I advocate that, but because it clarifies.

One thing about politics is we need more clarity. One of the problems of modern politics, this is a problem of the modern bureaucratic state and kind of the elitism of how our politics works, is a lack of clarity. And when a lack of clarity is dominant, then it's hard to see who's actually governing. And we need to have more clarity, so we know what's afoot, what's going on, what is at issue, what is at stake.

Because there are monumental questions here. And behind that, there are monumental questions, which Trump, completely agree or not, is trying to get to. And those are the kind of conversations our country needs to be having.

HUGH HEWITT: But they're not. And this is where we should conclude. They're never going to happen in the world, the media world in which we inhabit, right? It's virtually impossible to have a conversation of even 38 minutes, which you and I have just had about the fact there is an underlying controversy here that is political, not legal, but which has been dressed up in legalism in a replay of '72, '73, '74, and a replay of '96, '97, '98. Maybe it's just bound to happen every 20 years in America now that political fights are fought out in courtrooms and by prosecutors, not at ballot boxes, or they're attempted to be reversed at ballot boxes.

But the persona of Trump is so large, and his braggadocio, his volume is so high, that it's pretty difficult to get the conversation back to a level about Article One, Article Two of the Constitution.

MATT SPALDING: Well, especially if-- since his level is so high and so strong that they're going to probably use any means to get there. The one thing you didn't mention was using the judiciary to reverse ballot box decisions. I mean, this is part of the modern administration of saying, this is what our modern politics look like in this type of circumstance. This is the American people, and it's not going to the republican, small R, institutions to make these kinds of decisions.

This should normally be a question about an election. Some tawdry things have happened. We don't like them, but they're not illegal. This is up for the American people to decide in the next election. If no, we've got to turn to other ways to get him out of here.

HUGH HEWITT: If there are illegalities, it is appropriate for the Department of Justice to review them. If Jonathan Chait's out there throwing out wild conspiracy theories about criminal tax evasion, stuff like that, just forget the farther reaches of the left and forget that Trump hater-- if there are genuine issues of illegality, they ought to be investigated by the Department of Justice, and they will be. You can't fire enough Attorney Generals to stop that. We learned that under Richard Nixon. But that isn't really what's going on with Jeff Sessions and the President.

I think you referred to it earlier. I want to finish there. It's about what he perceives as a rudderless Attorney General, rudderless DOJ.

MATT SPALDING: No, that's right. And I think that as President, he sees that. It's something in the way of his larger agenda, of course. But the problem with the rule of law when you don't have an Attorney General who's commanding the rule of law system underneath the Department of Justice, and as a result, you have all sorts of things running wild, and we have the rule of men, rather than the rule of law. This is a huge problem, which if that becomes the norm of the future, we're in a very bad situation.

HUGH HEWITT: Always good to talk to you, Matt Spalding, director of the Kirby Center at Hillsdale College. All things Hillsdale collected at Hillsdale.edu.

Sign up for Imprimis