Last February, the Trump administration abruptly abandoned the crux of the Justice Department’s opposition to Texas’ voter ID law. Government lawyers also asked the judge to delay her decision on whether the law intentionally discriminated against blacks and Latinos.
Judge Nelva Ramos Gonzales rejected their request for a delay. And Monday, she ruled that the law “was passed, at least in part, with a discriminatory intent in violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.”
Senators Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Merkley, and Richard Blumenthal referred to a ProPublica story, which cited a source saying that Preet Bharara was overseeing an investigation of HHS Secretary Tom Price’s trading in health stocks. They asked whether Attorney General Sessions, President Trump or other officials in the Justice Department or White House were aware of such a probe before they removed Bharara, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan.
The criminalization of opioid use often has fatal consequences, because it leaves addicts to obtain supplies from street dealers rather than pharmacists. The drugs they get may be surreptitiously laced with fentanyl or other synthetic opioids that are cheaper than prescription meds but much more potent — raising the overdose risk.
Sessions’ uninformed claim is likely to increase jitters in the country’s nascent legal marijuana industry as it confronts an attorney general whose rhetoric so far has strongly suggested he would like to crack down on legal weed—although he has yet to take any concrete steps to do so.
Sessions’ memo on dealing with violent offenders seems to be a part of the new administration’s tough-on-crime approach, but longer sentencing for violent offenders under federal law has already been tried and failed, says Jeffrey Fagan, professor of law at Columbia University and senior research scholar at Yale Law School.
On Saturday, the outspoken U.S. attorney from the Southern District of New York said he was fired after refusing to resign, as requested a day earlier by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ action comes the same day White House press secretary Sean Spicer addressed the specter of a “deep state” of bureaucrats trying to harm President Donald Trump’s agenda.
Not since Nixon has the United States had a leader who believes so strongly that there is an orchestrated campaign to undermine his presidency. And the revelations over months about contacts between Russian officials and Trump advisers remind some of the slow beginnings of the Watergate scandal.
Rod Rosenstein, a top federal prosecutor nominated by President Trump to be deputy attorney general, testified that he was “not aware” of any reason he couldn’t oversee such a probe of Kremlin-led election interference.
Bannon, Miller, Sessions, and presumably the president himself understand very well that the travel ban aimed at Muslims and Islam must exacerbate divisions between the West and the Muslim world, as well as between Muslim-Americans and the rest of American society. Intensified conflict is the only foreseeable result of their actions and outbursts — and appears to be the only result they want.
Now that Sessions has stepped aside, Lawyers and Justice Department officials are poring through statutes and scratching their collective heads over who has authority to sign warrants for the FBI’s electronic surveillance of the Russians and Trump associates implicated in the probe.
For Joe Scarborough, the only thing more bizarre than Jeff Sessions’ press conference Thursday recusing himself from an ongoing White House investigation was its timing.
As most of the world knows by now, Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not tell the truth when he was asked during his confirmation hearings about contacts with Russian officials. But Sessions isn’t the only one.
The senators wrote a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, reminding him that President Donald Trump said on the campaign trail that the issue of legalization should be left up to states.
His diplomatic career has encompassed the Cold War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the inexorable-seeming rise of one Vladimir Putin. Now Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, finds himself in a harsh and unwanted spotlight over contacts with Donald Trump’s campaign team.
Certainly, we are in a hyper-partisan age. But does that mean partisans set aside every principle they ever held dear and watch democratic norms be destroyed just to protect a president from their party? Are institutional checks and balances meaningless?
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a brief Thursday press conference that he will recuse himself from “any investigation” that involves last year’s presidential campaigns, including the probe of Trump connections with Russia.
Obama White House officials reportedly pursued a deliberate strategy aimed at preserving evidence of Russian election meddling for investigators to ensure this type of interference was not repeated.
Last year, when he was still a Senator, Jeff Sessions met with the Russian ambassador — twice. But he failed to mention those meetings when questioned about Russia during his confirmation hearing.
After arguing for nearly six years that Texas’ voter ID law intentionally discriminated against minorities, the Department of Justice — now overseen by Jeff Sessions — has informed the other plaintiffs in the case it has abandoned that position.
Few would have predicted Donald Trump’s stellar relationship with far-right Christians. But now that he’s won them over, benefited from their political support, and amassed a White House featuring many evangelical conservatives, LGBT protections, abortion rights, and public school funding are on the line.
The new order reverses one issued by former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates that sought to eliminate the department’s use of private for-profit prisons, which hold slightly more than 10 percent of the current prison population. Civil rights and prisoner rights groups decried the Sessions’ decision, saying private prisons are not as cost-effective or as safe as government-run facilities.
In Danziger’s vision, Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is the kind of small-minded Southern politician who brandishes “state’s rights” as an excuse to bully unpopular minorities — in the latest instance, defenseless trans kids needing to use a bathroom.
In a sharp break with the Obama administration, which distanced itself from harsh anti-drug rhetoric and emphasized treatment for drug users over punishment, President Trump this week reverted to tough drug war oratory and backed it up with a series of executive orders he said were “designed to restore safety in America.”
There’s no question that the decision to silence Warren backfired — badly. The furor gained the Massachusetts senator far more attention than her otherwise routine speech would have if it hadn’t been interrupted. The result: The majority leader turned the confirmation vote on Sessions, a loss for the Democrats, into a vehicle they could use to rally their partisan base.