Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

President escalates attacks on his attorney general

Trump assails Sessions for pursuing two Republicans' cases Trump escalates attacks on his attorney general
Charlie Simmons | 04 September, 2018, 15:46

Author Stephen King fired a new salvo in his ongoing feud with President Donald Trump after yet another White House attack on Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

"Law enforcement officers and prosecutors may never select the timing of investigative steps or criminal charges for the goal of affecting any election, or for the objective of giving an advantage or disadvantage to any candidate or political party", reads a 2016 Justice Department memorandum issued by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, which mirrors language issued by previous attorneys general ahead of federal elections.

Trump did not address the charges themselves or name the congressmen, but the tweet was apparently referring to the indictments this summer of Representatives Chris Collins of NY and Duncan D. Hunter of California, the president's two earliest congressional endorsers.

Election analysts believe there is a 50 percent chance the Democratic Party will take control of the House, in which all 435 seats are up for grabs in the November 6 elections.

"Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department", the Republican president wrote. "Two easy wins now in doubt", Trump tweeted. Really sick!' he tweeted.

Collins has suspended his reelection campaign, while Hunter is running for reelection, alleging political bias by the Justice Department. Collins has denied wrongdoing but will not seek re-election.

The president also compared Sessions unfavorably to Federal Bureau of Investigation director he fired, "Lyin" James Comey, ' saying they'd become martyrs to the very same lawmakers who'd previously despised them after resisting orders from Trump.

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Duncan Hunter of California faces accusations that include spending campaign funds for personal expenses, while Chris Collins of NY has been charged with insider trading.

A spokeswoman for Sessions declined comment, and the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Justice Department also began investigating Hunter past year, with the House Ethics Committee announcing in March 2017 that it was holding off on taking action against Hunter because the Justice Department had launched a criminal investigation into his use of campaign funds. "These two men have been charged with crimes because of evidence, not because of who the president was when the investigations began", Sasse said in a statement.

USA political scientist and columnist Brian Klass called Mr Trump's outburst "insane".

"He's not hiding how he views the law, law enforcement, of justice".

Mr Trump has previously pressed Mr Sessions to investigate his perceived enemies and has accused Mr Sessions of failing to take control of the Justice Department. After the recusal, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to lead the probe, which Trump calls a "witch hunt". In 2016, he made a $5,400 contribution to Trump's presidential campaign. US intelligence agencies have concluded Russian Federation tried to help Trump win the 2016 election, but the Kremlin denies meddling.

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