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Opinion Jeff Sessions is Trump’s MVP in the aftermath of Charlottesville

Attorney General Jeff Sessions told law enforcement in North Carolina on Aug. 17 that President Trump supports them and the pursuit of "law and order." (Video: Reuters, Photo: CRISTOBAL HERRERA/Reuters)

In the wake of what happened in Charlottesville, everyone should be thankful that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has not quit. That includes President Trump.

For whatever reason, Trump wanted Sessions off the team a few weeks ago. But Sessions is now turning out to be Trump’s most valuable player in the aftermath of Charlottesville. The irony should not be lost on anyone that it is Sessions who is instinctively doing the right thing at the most important agency after what happened last weekend. He toughed out the president’s criticism, and Trump now has Sessions to thank for his Justice Department’s nimble handling of the critical issues associated with Charlottesville.

Sessions’s instincts have been spot-on at every step of the way. And you can bet Sessions is acting with autonomy. He is neither waiting for nor seeking instruction from the White House. He is quickly doing what the law requires, and by any measure, he is doing the right thing.

This week, Sessions told NBC’s “Today”: “You can be sure this Department of Justice in this administration is going to take the most vigorous action to protect the right of people like Heather Heyer, to protest against racism and bigotry. We’re going to protect the right to assemble and march. And we’re going to prosecute anybody, to the full extent of the law.”

Considering Sessions’s response to the tragedy in Charlottesville, I can’t help but question the motives of anyone who insists on disparaging his character. Let’s not forget, in a blatant example of Democrats playing the race card and pursuing identity politics, it was Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) who spoke out against Sessions, testifying at his confirmation hearing that “Senator Sessions has not demonstrated a commitment to a central requisite of the job — to aggressively pursue the congressional mandate of civil rights, equal rights and justice for all of our citizens.”

Give me a break. Booker should call Sessions and admit that he had been wrong the whole time. As should Trump. They should both call him to apologize.

It’s probably a trap, but even the liberal New York Times is praising Sessions. In one story, Charlie Savage and Rebecca R. Ruiz write that by “aggressively responding to the deadly car attack … in Charlottesville, announcing a federal civil rights investigation within hours and labeling the attack an act of domestic terrorism,” Sessions has earned the praise of civil rights advocates.

Remember, this is the same New York Times whose editorial board described Sessions as “radical” and “extreme” at the beginning of Trump’s presidency.

Jeff Sessions is a man of principle. It probably isn’t within Trump to admit he was wrong, but by acting on his instincts and sticking to his principles, Sessions is making a bad situation more tolerable. And Trump is lucky to have him.

Trump’s response to what happened in Charlottesville was inexcusable. But Sessions did everything right. His actions in the immediate aftermath of the attack only serve to further demonstrate his commitment to upholding the law and seeking out justice for the victims of the crimes that occurred.

Trump should recognize that and be thankful.