Trump slams Sessions over GOP indictments

President Donald Trump blasted his Attorney General Jeff Sessions and lamented the indictments of two lawmakers who were his earliest supporters in Congress during the 2016 election, suggesting they should not have been charged because they are Republicans.

Posted: Sep 4, 2018 5:45 PM
Updated: Sep 4, 2018 6:01 PM

Democratic members of Congress are warning that the Justice Department is being targeted by President Donald Trump's tweet politicizing two investigations into GOP House members by the Justice Department, where Attorney General Jeff Sessions remains at the helm.

"Our justice system is under attack," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, on Tuesday.

Sen. Dick Durbin, the second ranking Democrat in the Senate, called Trump's actions, including firing former FBI Director James Comey and his tweets that criticized Sessions, "unprecedented in American history."

"This President, by his tweets, has virtually no respect for the rule of law," Durbin said.

Last month, Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, and New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins were indicted in a matter of just two weeks -- both politicians were two of Trump's earliest supporters in Congress. Both lawmakers have pleaded not guilty.

On Monday, Trump tweeted that two Republican congressmen were "brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department."

"Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good Job Jeff," his tweet continued.

Sen. Mazie Hirono said she didn't think Trump understood the separation of powers.

"He thinks the attorney general works for him," the Democratic senator from Hawaii said. "He thinks the entire federal government works for him at his beck and call."

Democratic Sen. Pat Leahy of Vermont compared Trump's comment to North Korea, and noted his previous experience as a prosecutor.

"Only in — in North Korea the leader may say you may prosecute this person not this person. For the president of the United States to say, 'don't prosecute Republicans, only prosecute democrats,' - I was a prosecutor for eight years. Made my blood boil." Leahy said.

Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat, on Tuesday afternoon called Trump's tweet on Sessions "unprecedented."

"This should concern every senator and every American and frankly hangs over this confirmation hearing for Judge Kavanaugh," he said.

Coons added that he is "confident" that special counsel Robert Mueller would "be looking at this particular tweet and ways in which the President is seeking to interfere with ongoing federal criminal prosecutions."

Trump's remark came just a day prior to the start of Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee -- where the question of how Kavanaugh would potentially rule on any issues dealing with the special counsel investigation and the president looms. Mueller is currently leading the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion.

Sessions, due to his role on the Trump campaign, recused himself from partaking in any investigations regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election, following his failure to disclose his own contact with the Russian ambassador while being confirmed by the Senate.

Due to his recusal, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is overseeing the special counsel investigation. However, as CNN has previously reported, Trump has pressured Sessions on multiple occasions to reverse his recusal.

Blumenthal said that Trump seemed to be "deliberately trying to obstruct justice."

"So the justice system is under attack, and I'll be looking forward to statements from this nominee as a court of appeals judge, let alone nominee of the United States Supreme Court," he added shortly before confirmation hearings were set to begin for Kavanaugh.

Republican lawmakers have largely been silent or declined to weigh in on Trump's tweet.

"I don't speak for the President," Sen. John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican, said Tuesday on CNN's "New Day." "He's entitled to his opinion, and maybe he thinks the policy ought to change. I haven't talked to him about it. I just know that I think it's important to have a consistent policy."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said the tweet indicated Trump and Sessions "do not have a healthy relationship."

"I would say there's a general rule you don't issue indictments close to elections -- I think that's his point. But no Republican, no Democrat is immune from being prosecuted for misdeeds," he said.

He later continued: "I'm not suggesting these prosecutions are politically motivated, I'm not suggesting they're wrong. So what I am suggesting is that Jeff Sessions and the President do not have a healthy relationship."

However, Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse, a frequent Trump critic, strongly defended the Justice Department in a statement Monday evening.

"The United States is not some banana republic with a two-tiered system of justice -- one for the majority party and one for the minority party," Sasse said, adding later, "These two men have been charged with crimes because of evidence, not because of who the President was when the investigations began. Instead of commenting on ongoing investigations and prosecutions, the job of the President of the United States is to defend the Constitution and protect the impartial administration of justice."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313942

Reported Deaths: 7240
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21580258
Hinds20330415
Harrison17879309
Rankin13594278
Jackson13429246
Madison10088217
Lee9970174
Jones8370163
Forrest7670152
Lauderdale7188241
Lowndes6387146
Lamar622486
Lafayette6184118
Washington5332133
Bolivar4801132
Oktibbeha462198
Panola4582106
Pearl River4506146
Marshall4435103
Warren4386121
Pontotoc420172
Monroe4107133
Union410076
Neshoba4030176
Lincoln3962110
Hancock378486
Leflore3493125
Sunflower335990
Tate333384
Pike3316105
Scott315773
Alcorn312768
Yazoo311469
Itawamba299777
Copiah296865
Coahoma295179
Simpson294988
Tippah288168
Prentiss279760
Adams278782
Marion269080
Leake267473
Wayne262641
Grenada261386
Covington258281
George247848
Newton246261
Winston227081
Tishomingo226667
Jasper221048
Attala214273
Chickasaw207757
Holmes188873
Clay185254
Stone182433
Tallahatchie178541
Clarke177980
Calhoun170532
Yalobusha164238
Smith162334
Walthall133945
Greene130533
Lawrence128524
Montgomery126742
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123042
Carroll121828
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107033
Tunica105226
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96533
Kemper95728
Franklin83623
Quitman80716
Choctaw76318
Wilkinson67230
Jefferson65528
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 531404

Reported Deaths: 10985
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson765501522
Mobile41036805
Madison34789503
Tuscaloosa25788453
Montgomery24340589
Shelby23449249
Baldwin21154308
Lee15882171
Calhoun14511314
Morgan14306279
Etowah13843353
Marshall12232223
Houston10570281
Elmore10068205
Limestone9974151
Cullman9676194
St. Clair9661243
Lauderdale9427241
DeKalb8831186
Talladega8227176
Walker7241277
Autauga6926108
Jackson6814112
Blount6678137
Colbert6306134
Coffee5519119
Dale4838111
Russell441538
Chilton4296112
Franklin426082
Covington4129118
Tallapoosa4023152
Escambia393677
Chambers3573123
Dallas3551152
Clarke351161
Marion3122101
Pike310977
Lawrence300398
Winston274473
Bibb260964
Geneva250477
Marengo249564
Pickens234461
Barbour231057
Hale223077
Butler216069
Fayette212562
Henry188844
Cherokee185245
Randolph180542
Monroe177540
Washington167339
Macon159650
Clay156756
Crenshaw152557
Cleburne148941
Lamar142535
Lowndes138853
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110529
Perry107726
Coosa107628
Sumter104732
Greene92534
Choctaw60724
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