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Tag: Attorney General

AG Sessions Indicates Justice Department Will ‘Pull Back’ on Investigating Police Abuses

AG Jeff Sessions at his confirmation hearing.

AG Jeff Sessions at his confirmation hearing.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The numerous federal investigations into troubled police departments under the Obama administration may be a thing of the past.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Tuesday that the federal government won’t be monitoring police departments as it had in the past.

Sessions claimed in his first speech as attorney general that the Justice Department investigations undermined police efforts nationwide.

“We need, so far as we can, in my view, help police departments get better, not diminish their effectiveness,” Sessions told the National Association of Attorneys General. “And I’m afraid we’ve done some of that. So we’re going to try to pull back on this, and I don’t think it’s wrong or mean or insensitive to civil rights or human rights.”

He added that the Trump administration is working “out of a concern to make the lives of people in particularly the poor communities, minority communities, live a safer, happier life so that they’re able to have their children outside and go to school in safety and they can go to the grocery store in safety and not be accosted by drug dealers and get caught in crossfires or have their children seduced into some gang.”

Sessions claimed that monitoring police departments did not help combat rising violence in some cities.

“One of the big things out there that’s, I think, causing trouble and where you see the greatest increase in violence and murders in cities is somehow, some way, we undermine the respect for our police and made, oftentimes, their job more difficult,” he said.

White House Dodges Questions about Sessions’ Role in Investigation of Russia

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The White House won’t answer questions about whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions should recuse himself from the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election, the Washington Post reports. 

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who has called for a special prosecutor to investigate the Russian interference, said Sessions should not lead the investigation because it represents a conflict.

But deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders won’t say whether Sessions should withdraw from the investigation.

The appropriate time to discuss Sessions’ role, she said, is after the congressional committees complete their own investigations, even though  they are independent of the FBI probe.

Sen. Warren Pledges to Continue Fight Against Appointment of Sessions As AG

Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Senate narrowly confirmed Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Mass., as attorney general, but Democrats are not done fighting.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., pledged to fight the appointment, saying “this is just the beginning” of opposition from Democrats, the Washington Post reports. 

Warren, a potential 2020 presidential candidate, said she fears Sessions will bring “his racism, sexism & bigotry” to the Justice Department.

Senate Expected to Confirm Jeff Sessions as Attorney General Today

Jeff Sessions at the confirmation hearing.

Jeff Sessions at the confirmation hearing.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s controversial pick for attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is expected to be confirmed by the Senate Wednesday. 

Senate Democrats held a late-night session Tuesday to show opposition to Sessions because of concerns that he is racist.

If Sessions is confirmed today, he won’t have much time to celebrate. Among his biggest priorities is likely fighting on behalf of Trump’s immigration restrictions. He also is expected to help crack down on illegal immigration by increasing deportations.

Supporters say Sessions is highly qualified after serving 12 years as U.S. attorney in Alabama and two years as state attorney general.

Chicago Tribune: Trump Wrong for Ousting of AG Yates over ‘Unconstitutional’ Order

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

By Editorial Board
Chicago Tribune

President Donald Trump, the former TV reality star, has never said “You’re fired” like this.

His decision Monday night to oust acting Attorney General Sally Yates heightens the drama over his deplorable executive action on immigration. Trump’s move is petulant and unsettling, especially for Americans with long memories. That said, amateur historians rolling out comparisons to Richard Nixon‘s 1973 “Saturday Night Massacre” — the firing of his attorney general over Watergate — are overwrought.

We don’t know how this confrontation will end, but we’re certain we know where it is headed: to a cluster of federal courts. That’s where the Trump administration will attempt to defend the president’s overly broad order temporarily halting the country’s refugee program and banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days. The countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Trump’s sweeping directive, signed Friday, was intended to protect the country from terrorism, but it’s deeply problematic and arguably unconstitutional. It was rolled out too quickly, without adequate time to debate its merits or explain the scope. The Associated Press reports that at least three top national security officials — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Rex Tillerson, who is awaiting confirmation to lead the State Department — have told associates they were not aware of details of the directive until around the time Trump signed it.

To read this click here. 

White House Press Secretary Defends Firing of Acting Attorney General

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer defended President Trump’s decision to fire Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, saying she serves at the pleasure of the executive branch. 

President Trump Fires Acting AG Yates for Defying Executive Order on Immigration

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates on Monday after she refused to defend his executive order on immigration.

Yates served as deputy attorney general for the Obama administration and named the acting attorney general until Sen. Jeff Session is confirmed.

In the meantime, the Trump administration appointed Dana Boente, 63, to serve as acting attorney general. Boente served as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, NBC News reports.

Yates had directed Justice Department lawyers not to defend the executive order, but Boente rescinded the directive.

Yates “has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States,” the White House said in a statement, adding: “Ms. Yates is an Obama Administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.”

“At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the Executive Order is consistent with [the Justice Department’s] responsibilities nor am I convinced that the Executive Order is lawful,” Yates wrote. “For as long as I am the acting attorney general, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the executive order, unless and until I become convinced that it is appropriate to do so.”

AG Candidate Jeff Sessions Won’t Commit to Protecting Journalists’ Sources

Jeff Sessions at the confirmation hearing.

Jeff Sessions at the confirmation hearing.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Sen. Jeff Sessions, who is Donald Trump’s choice for the next attorney general, said Tuesday at his confirmation hearing that he would not commit to keeping journalists from going to jail for refusing to leak information from anonymous sources.

By contrast, Attorney General Eric Holder said in 2015 that he would not jail reporters for doing their jobs, Huffington Post reports

“If confirmed, will you commit to following the standards already in place at the Justice Department and will you make that commitment not to put reporters in jail for doing their jobs?” asked Sen. Amy Klobuchar, R-Minn.

“I’m not sure,” Sessions responded. “I have not studied those regulations.”

Sessions said that information from journalists could serve as a “mechanism through which unlawful intelligence is obtained.”