AG Sessions Appoints WH Lawyer as Acting Admin of DEA Who Previously Misled President Trump About His Authority to Fire Comey
On Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed White House lawyer, Uttam Dhillon as acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Uttam Dhillon previously worked as the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement and as an associate deputy attorney general for the Justice Department, reported the Examiner.
Dhillon also previously misled President Trump about his authority to fire then-FBI Director James Comey, according to a January 2018 New York Times article.
Even worse, once Dhillon researched and concluded President Trump indeed has the authority to fire the FBI Director without cause, he never corrected the record, and withheld the conclusions from his research.
Excerpt from a January 2018 New York Times article:
After that hearing, Mr. Trump began to discuss openly with White House officials his desire to fire Mr. Comey. This unnerved some inside the White House counsel’s office, and even led one of Mr. McGahn’s deputies to mislead the president about his authority to fire the F.B.I. director.
The lawyer, Uttam Dhillon, was convinced that if Mr. Comey was fired, the Trump presidency could be imperiled, because it would force the Justice Department to open an investigation into whether Mr. Trump was trying to derail the Russia investigation.
Longstanding analysis of presidential power says that the president, as the head of the executive branch, does not need grounds to fire the F.B.I. director. Mr. Dhillon, a veteran Justice Department lawyer before joining the Trump White House, assigned a junior lawyer to examine this issue. That lawyer determined that the F.B.I. director was no different than any other employee in the executive branch, and that there was nothing prohibiting the president from firing him.
But Mr. Dhillon, who had earlier told Mr. Trump that he needed cause to fire Mr. Comey, never corrected the record, withholding the conclusions of his research.
Stephen I. Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas School of Law, called the episode “extraordinary,” adding that he could not think of a similar one that occurred in past administrations.
Jeff Sessions appointed this Trump-hater as acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Let that sink in.
Announcement from DOJ:
AG Sessions has appointed White House lawyer Uttam Dhillon as acting administrator of the DEA. You may remember Dhillon from a NYT story in January that reported that he withheld info from Trump about the president’s ability to fire James Comey https://t.co/kCrl9n0MHA pic.twitter.com/kZsLryaNLF
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) July 2, 2018