Sessions slams legal discovery process against officials

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday criticized "judicial activism" and condemned attempts to depose or ...

Posted: Oct 16, 2018 3:38 PM
Updated: Oct 16, 2018 3:38 PM

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday criticized "judicial activism" and condemned attempts to depose or question senior executive branch officials, including President Donald Trump.

"Simply put, discovery against the President of the United States should not be treated lightly. The man is busy, in case you'd like to know," Sessions said while speaking to the Heritage Foundation.

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Sessions added that preparing for a deposition is "a monumental disruption."

"Subjecting the executive branch to this kind of discovery is unacceptable," he said.

His comments also addressed a number of upcoming cases and decisions, including a challenge to the administration's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Last week, the Trump administration asked the US Supreme Court to block Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross from having to be deposed on the matter.

However, days after the administration filed its request with the court, new questions arose about previous comments Ross had made to Congress about the controversial census question.

A Justice Department filing revealed that Steve Bannon contacted Ross in the spring of 2017 -- when Bannon was a senior Trump adviser -- asking him to speak with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach about including a citizenship question.

Ross previously denied to Congress that anyone from the White House had discussed adding that type of question to the census with him, later adding that it was an initiative from the Justice Department.

CNN previously reported that a Commerce Department spokesman, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Ross' comments before Congress were not misleading.

The spokesman said that the Justice Department "response supplements the record but does not change the secretary's story, it only adds to it."

Directly addressing the census case during his remarks on Monday, Sessions criticized "an increasing number of judges" who he said "view themselves as something akin to roving inspectors general for the entire Executive Branch."

"For example, right now we are litigating one case where the district court has authorized a deposition of the Secretary of Commerce about the decision to reinstate a question on the Census. The court believes this is proper because it wants to probe the Secretary's motives," he said.

Sessions went on to defend the census question, noting that it "has appeared in one form or another on the census for over a hundred years."

"The words on the page don't have a motive; they are either permitted or they are not. But the judge has decided to hold a trial over the inner-workings of a Cabinet Secretary's mind."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 309223

Reported Deaths: 7153
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21005250
Hinds19989411
Harrison17590303
Rankin13388277
Jackson13169243
Madison9965212
Lee9900170
Jones8319161
Forrest7554149
Lauderdale7232237
Lowndes6306144
Lamar614685
Lafayette6081118
Washington5296133
Bolivar4778130
Oktibbeha458097
Panola4461103
Pearl River4447142
Warren4310119
Marshall4302103
Pontotoc417672
Monroe4063132
Union405175
Neshoba4009176
Lincoln3892109
Hancock373785
Leflore3471124
Sunflower332090
Tate325984
Pike3226105
Scott311973
Yazoo305369
Alcorn301566
Itawamba297977
Copiah294365
Coahoma290779
Simpson290486
Tippah285368
Prentiss276659
Marion266479
Leake262473
Wayne261541
Grenada257385
Covington255380
Adams247082
Newton246161
George238947
Winston226181
Tishomingo222867
Jasper220248
Attala213673
Chickasaw205857
Holmes187272
Clay183354
Stone179733
Clarke178177
Tallahatchie176240
Calhoun165632
Yalobusha160236
Smith159734
Walthall131143
Greene129633
Lawrence126823
Noxubee126634
Montgomery125842
Perry125238
Amite121041
Carroll121026
Webster113932
Jefferson Davis105932
Tunica103425
Claiborne101430
Benton97525
Kemper95728
Humphreys94732
Franklin83123
Quitman78916
Choctaw74417
Wilkinson65329
Jefferson64928
Sharkey49817
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 522512

Reported Deaths: 10790
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson755371494
Mobile39129799
Madison34124500
Tuscaloosa25408444
Montgomery24059573
Shelby23225242
Baldwin20730302
Lee15638166
Calhoun14358311
Morgan14171273
Etowah13705348
Marshall12012220
Houston10416279
Elmore10024203
Limestone9862148
Cullman9509191
St. Clair9486236
Lauderdale9280233
DeKalb8762183
Talladega8127173
Walker7151276
Autauga6763106
Jackson6762110
Blount6532133
Colbert6236132
Coffee5436113
Dale4781111
Russell431239
Franklin421382
Chilton4130110
Covington4069115
Tallapoosa3922148
Escambia390374
Dallas3528150
Chambers3519122
Clarke347360
Marion3076100
Pike306676
Lawrence296395
Winston273272
Bibb256761
Marengo248561
Geneva246475
Pickens233259
Barbour227155
Hale218675
Butler213268
Fayette209660
Henry188444
Cherokee182744
Randolph177841
Monroe173140
Washington165538
Macon156548
Clay150255
Crenshaw149557
Cleburne147041
Lamar140034
Lowndes137353
Wilcox124727
Bullock122040
Conecuh109728
Perry107726
Sumter103332
Coosa99428
Greene91434
Choctaw58824
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