Trump blasts Jeff Sessions and compares him to 'Lyin’ James Comey'

Glen Norman
September 4, 2018

President Trump interrupted his Labor Day holiday to launch a raging mid-afternoon tweetstorm at Attorney General Jeff Sessions - apparently blaming him for last month's indictments of a pair of "very popular" GOP lawmakers. The two were the first members of Congress to endorse Trump after he announced his bid for president in 2015, at a time when few others did.

"Good job Jeff." the tweet said, in part, also noting that the charges came just ahead of the mid-term elections.

The President's tweets about various indictments brought against California Rep. Duncan Hunter who misused more than $250,000 in campaign funds and then threw his wife under the bus, and Chris Collins of NY who was indicted on insider trading and wire fraud.

"Democrats, none of whom voted for Jeff Sessions, must love him now", Trump continued.

"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. Rarely, though, has he made it so explicit that he views the Justice Department as a political tool that is now being misused. "These two men have been charged with crimes because of evidence, not because of who the President was when the investigations began", he said in a statement. "Same thing with Lyin" James Comey. The Hunter investigation began under Obama. Immediately he became a wonderful man, a saint like figure in fact.

Also under investigation is Trump's conduct in dismissing Comey, particularly why he fired him and whether he pressured him to be generous to Michael Flynn, the president's former national security adviser.

Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores declined to comment on Trump's tweets, which did not name the congressmen.

Trump has previously pressed Sessions to investigate his perceived enemies and has accused Sessions of failing to take control of the Justice Department.

Trump stayed at the White House on Monday, watching television.

The attorney general has told associates that he has no intention of leaving his job voluntarily despite Mr Trump's constant criticism.

AshLee Strong, a spokesperson for House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, responded to Trump's tweet by saying the Justice Department "should always remain apolitical, and the speaker has demonstrated he takes these charges seriously". Trump would probably argue that he's saying no indictments should be handed down this close to an election, regardless of party.

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