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Tag: Attorney General

Jones: Jeff Sessions Shows No Respect for Black Lives After Consent Decree Review

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the Trump campaign.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the Trump campaign.

Solomon Jones
Philadelphia Inquirer

After the recent actions of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, even the few black voters who supported Donald Trump despite his bigoted campaign rhetoric must now admit the obvious. A vote for Trump was a vote for racist policies.

Sessions’ decision to order a broad review of federal agreements with dozens of law-enforcement agencies is nothing short of an attack on black and brown people. After all, those agreements were necessitated by systemic police abuses targeting minority communities. Attempting to pull out of those agreements – most of which have already been approved in federal court – delivers an indisputable message: Black lives don’t matter to the Trump administration.

And make no mistake. This is about black lives.

That truth is not lost on activists who’ve long fought systemic police abuses targeting blacks. Few of them are surprised that Sessions – who once was denied a federal judgeship based largely on allegations of racism – is the man leading the charge.

“Jeff Sessions’ entire career in the justice system is rooted in racism and anti-blackness,” Asa Khalif, who leads Pennsylvania Black Lives Matter, told me. “If there was ever a time to rally and stand together as black people, it’s now.”

Given that Trump thanked black people for not voting after his surprising Electoral College victory, I think Khalif is right. We must stand together, because the examination of police departments across the country were spurred by high-profile police killings of unarmed African Americans. The same black people featured prominently in Justice Department reports that meticulously documented patterns of systemic police abuse.

The Obama administration compiled one such report following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died after suffering a spinal injury in a police van when officers failed to properly restrain him with seat belts. Based on interviews, documents and an extensive review of six years of data, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division concluded that the Baltimore Police Department engaged in an ongoing pattern of discrimination against African Americans.

The report minced no words in laying out the truth.

“BPD’s targeted policing of certain Baltimore neighborhoods with minimal oversight or accountability disproportionately harms African-American residents,” the report said. “Racially disparate impact is present at every stage of BPD’s enforcement actions, from the initial decision to stop individuals on Baltimore streets to searches, arrests and uses of force. These racial disparities, along with evidence suggesting intentional discrimination, erode the community trust that is critical to effective policing.”

To read more click here. 

Ex-Deputy AG Sally Yates Says Trump Tried to Limit Her Testimony on Russia

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Trump administration has tried to limit former deputy Attorney General Sally Yates’ congressional testimony on possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Her lawyer, David O’Neil, said the Justice Department was claiming her actions as a deputy attorney general were “client confidences” and therefore should not be disclosed without written permission, Fortune reports.

“We believe that the Department’s position in this regard is overbroad, incorrect, and inconsistent with the Department’s historical approach to the congressional testimony of current and former senior officials,” O’Neil wrote in a March 23 letter to Justice Department official Samuel Ramer.

The White House denied any interference with Yates’ plans to testify.

“We have no problem with her testifying, plain and simple,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.

Yates said she still plans to testify but won’t reveal any classified information.

FBI Investigating More than 300 Refugees for Potential Terrorist, AG Sessions Says

Attorney General Jeff Sessions (file photo)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions (file photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

To justify the latest travel ban involving Muslim countries, Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke Monday about the potential terror threat some refugees in the U.S. pose.

“[M]ore than 300 people who came here as refugees are under FBI investigation for potential terrorism-related activities,” Sessions said, according to CBS News.

He also said that those who are “seeking to support or commit terrorist attacks here will try to enter through our refugee program.”

Jeff Pegues of CBS noted in a website story that the officials will not say what countries these refugees came from,  when they came to the U.S. or if their legal status changed since arriving here.

Democrats Urge FBI to Investigate Whether AG Sessions Lied Under Oath

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the Trump campaign.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the Trump campaign.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions maintains he never lied under oath by denying he communicated with Russian officials, but Democrats aren’t so sure.

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee is asking the FBI to investigate whether Sessions lied under oath during his confirmation hearing, the Hill reports. 

Lawmakers penned a letter to FBI Director James Comey and Channing D. Phillips, the U.S. attorney for Washington D.C., urging them to investigate whether Sessions broke the law.

“Efforts by Attorney General Sessions to assert that his testimony was not false or even misleading because he met with the Russian Ambassador in his capacity as a Senator, rather than a campaign representative, appear to be disingenuous at best as the questions put to him did not in any way ask if the meeting was campaign related,” they wrote.

Sessions acknowledged Thursday that he met with Russian officials twice during Trump’s campaign, but insisted the subject of the election was never discussed. Sessions also pledged to recuse himself from future investigations into the Trump campaign.

Jeff Sessions Admits Meeting with Russian Officials But Denies He Committed Perjury

Jeff Sessions discusses his communication with Russians.

Jeff Sessions discusses his communication with Russians.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions acknowledged today that he met with Russian officials at least twice during the Donald Trump campaign, but insisted the election was never discussed.

During a press conference at 4 p.m., Sessions also said he plans to recuse himself from future investigations into the Trump campaign after consulting with Justice Department staff.

“I have decided to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States,” Sessions said.

The attorney general insisted he didn’t commit perjury by denying he had communication with Russian officials during his confirmation hearing, saying the meetings were unrelated to the presidential campaign.

Reports that suggested he exchanged information with the Russians, Sessions said, are “totally false.”

Sessions said he was having trouble remembering details of the discussions with a Russian ambassador.

“I don’t remember a lot of it,” Sessions said.

Meanwhile, some Democrats are calling for Sessions to resign and want a special prosecutor appointed to investigated the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

AG Sessions Indicates Justice Department Will ‘Pull Back’ on Investigating Police Abuses

AG Jeff Sessions at his confirmation hearing.

AG Jeff Sessions at his confirmation hearing.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The numerous federal investigations into troubled police departments under the Obama administration may be a thing of the past.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Tuesday that the federal government won’t be monitoring police departments as it had in the past.

Sessions claimed in his first speech as attorney general that the Justice Department investigations undermined police efforts nationwide.

“We need, so far as we can, in my view, help police departments get better, not diminish their effectiveness,” Sessions told the National Association of Attorneys General. “And I’m afraid we’ve done some of that. So we’re going to try to pull back on this, and I don’t think it’s wrong or mean or insensitive to civil rights or human rights.”

He added that the Trump administration is working “out of a concern to make the lives of people in particularly the poor communities, minority communities, live a safer, happier life so that they’re able to have their children outside and go to school in safety and they can go to the grocery store in safety and not be accosted by drug dealers and get caught in crossfires or have their children seduced into some gang.”

Sessions claimed that monitoring police departments did not help combat rising violence in some cities.

“One of the big things out there that’s, I think, causing trouble and where you see the greatest increase in violence and murders in cities is somehow, some way, we undermine the respect for our police and made, oftentimes, their job more difficult,” he said.

White House Dodges Questions about Sessions’ Role in Investigation of Russia

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The White House won’t answer questions about whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions should recuse himself from the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election, the Washington Post reports. 

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who has called for a special prosecutor to investigate the Russian interference, said Sessions should not lead the investigation because it represents a conflict.

But deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders won’t say whether Sessions should withdraw from the investigation.

The appropriate time to discuss Sessions’ role, she said, is after the congressional committees complete their own investigations, even though  they are independent of the FBI probe.

Sen. Warren Pledges to Continue Fight Against Appointment of Sessions As AG

Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Senate narrowly confirmed Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Mass., as attorney general, but Democrats are not done fighting.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., pledged to fight the appointment, saying “this is just the beginning” of opposition from Democrats, the Washington Post reports. 

Warren, a potential 2020 presidential candidate, said she fears Sessions will bring “his racism, sexism & bigotry” to the Justice Department.