Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) canceled the first two weeks of the August recess last month, but their recess was un-canceled yesterday and the Senate has now departed Washington for the remainder of the month.
But the Senate won't technically be in recess. A group of senators have volunteered to keep the Senate open so Trump cannot make any recess appointments.
Using a procedural tool often invoked by senators in the past, the Senate has set up a series pro forma sessions. Essentially, they'll gavel into session every few days -- perhaps even for just minutes at a time -- through Labor Day to keep the lights on.
Concerns arose last month that the President might attempt to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and appoint a replacement of his choosing while the upper chamber was out during the August recess.
This is a pretty big 'fuck you' to Trump and I appreciate that, but what I am truly savoring is the fact that the first pro-forma sessions was announced by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
You may recall that Trump's interior secretary Ryan Zinke threatened Murkowski and the entire state of Alaska over her opposition to Trumpcare.
As the Interior Department's top appropriator, Murkowski has the power to clock-block Zinke and she can hold open these mock sessions to block recess appointments.
Trump would have to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions to get to special prosecutor Robert Mueller, but if he did that now he would not have the ability to replace Sessions with an obedient lapdog. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller so I don't think he would willingly fire him either.