Jeff Sessions: The DOJ ‘Can Never Be Used to Retaliate Politically Against Opponents’
While providing testimony before the House Judiciary Committee today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was asked if he believed the president should commonly demand the justice system to go after the president’s political enemies.
Ranking Democrat John Conyers began his Q&A session by bringing up a number of tweets by President Donald Trump earlier this month in which the president called on the Justice Department to look at Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.
“Yes or no, please,” the Michigan Democrat stated. “In a functioning democracy, is it common for the leader of the country to order the criminal justice system to retaliate against his political opponents?”
After a short back-and-forth in which Sessions asked for clarification on the question, the AG said that “the Department of Justice can never be used to retaliate politically against opponents and that would be wrong.” When pressed by Conyers if that was a “no,” Sessions replied that his “answer stands for itself.”
Conyers also wanted to know if the attorney general felt the president should “make public comments that might influence a pending criminal investigation,” leading to Sessions that the “president cannot improperly influence the investigation.”
Monday night, it was reported that Sessions had directed top prosecutors to evaluate whether a special counsel was needed to look at the Uranium One deal and the Clinton Foundation. This comes on the heels of Trump saying he was disappointed in the DOJ and that “they should be looking at the Democrats.”
Watch the clip above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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