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Tag: Attorney General

AG Candidate Jeff Sessions Won’t Commit to Protecting Journalists’ Sources

Jeff Sessions at the confirmation hearing.

Jeff Sessions at the confirmation hearing.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Sen. Jeff Sessions, who is Donald Trump’s choice for the next attorney general, said Tuesday at his confirmation hearing that he would not commit to keeping journalists from going to jail for refusing to leak information from anonymous sources.

By contrast, Attorney General Eric Holder said in 2015 that he would not jail reporters for doing their jobs, Huffington Post reports

“If confirmed, will you commit to following the standards already in place at the Justice Department and will you make that commitment not to put reporters in jail for doing their jobs?” asked Sen. Amy Klobuchar, R-Minn.

“I’m not sure,” Sessions responded. “I have not studied those regulations.”

Sessions said that information from journalists could serve as a “mechanism through which unlawful intelligence is obtained.”

AG Candidate Jeff Sessions Expected to Be Grilled During Senate Hearing Today

Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for attorney general is expected to face fierce scrutiny Tuesday during his confirmation hearing.

Democrats, who are worried about Sessions’ civil rights record, plan to grill him on race, women’s rights and prosecutorial conduct, CNN reports. 

Despite what is expected to be a grueling two days of interrogations, Sessions likely will be confirmed because Republicans hold a majority in the Senate, and no GOP senator has openly criticized the AG candidate.

During the hearing, Sessions is expected to reveal his priorities for the Justice Department, and those likely will include combatting rising crime and addiction rates and terrorism. 

In 1986, Sessions was denied a federal judgeship following confirmation hearings that revealed he allegedly made racist remarks.

Anniston Star: Why Democrats Should Grill Sessions During Confirmation Hearing

US CapitolBy Editorial Board
Anniston Star

In October, after the exposure of a 2005 videotape featuring Donald Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women, U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Mobile, numbered among the Trump surrogates defending the candidate’s crude and creepy remarks.

There was hardly a more thankless task than trying to explain away Trump casually describing how he gets away with the unsolicited grabbing of women’s genitals.

Yet, Sessions gamely tried. Yes, the senator noted this was “very improper language.” But he also attempted to lawyer away what is and is not sexual assault. Here’s a handy definition from the Justice Department: “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.”

In the aftermath of the release of the videotape, Sessions let it be known he thought the reaction was “overblown.” A typical citizen might wonder if it’s possible to overblow a tape where a major-party candidate uses vulgar language to describe female genitals. Not Sessions, though, he played the good soldier for his candidate.

This week, the Senate considers Sessions’ worthiness to serve as the next U.S. attorney general. Hearings are scheduled for today and Wednesday.

We suggest senators focus on the Trump videotape episode from October, particularly Sessions’ defense of the indefensible.

If he becomes attorney general, Sessions and the Justice Department will be tested unlike any other in modern history.

To read more click here. 

More Private Prisons Likely if Jeff Sessions Becomes Attorney General

Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department’s decision last summer to stop contracting with for-private prisons may be changed if the Senate confirms Sen. Jeff Sessions as the next attorney general.

President-elect Donald Trump spoke highly of private prisons, and Sessions has close ties to the industry, Mother Jones reports. 

Studies have shown that private prisons are less humane and more violent than government-run jails.

Trump’s victory increased the value of shares of the largest private prison corporations.

“I do think we can do a lot of privatizations and private prisons,” Trump said last spring. “It seems to work a lot better.”

Over the past two decades, Sessions has spoken favorably of private prisons. When he was attorney general of Alabama, Sessions gave the green light to private prisons in his state.

California Democrats Hire Former AG Eric Holder to Fight Trump Agenda

Former Attorney General Eric Holder

Former Attorney General Eric Holder

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Democratic leaders of the California Legislature have a new weapon against legal fights with President-elect Donald Trump – former Attorney General Eric Holder.

Holder, who was severing as a Washington lawyer, is expected to be used on issues like the environment, immigration and criminal justice, the New York Times reports. 

“Having the former attorney general of the United States brings us a lot of firepower in order to prepare to safeguard the values of the people of California,” Kevin de León, the Democratic leader of the Senate, said in an interview. “This means we are very, very serious.”

The decision to hire Holder came after California Democrats watched in surprise as Trump selected his controversial cabinet.

“It was very clear that it wasn’t just campaign rhetoric,” Mr. de León said of Mr. Trump’s proposals over the past year. “He was surrounding himself with people who are a very clear and present danger to the economic prosperity of California.”

Holder served as attorney general under President Obama from 2009 to 2015.

“I am honored that the Legislature chose Covington to serve as its legal adviser as it considers how to respond to potential changes in federal law that could impact California’s residents and policy priorities,”Holder said in a statement. “I am confident that our expertise across a wide array of federal legal and regulatory issues will be a great resource to the Legislature.”

Forbes: Jeff Sessions to Bring Fresh Perspective, Experience to Justice Department

Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions

By Steve Forbes
Forbes

At this point in our nation’s history President-elect Donald Trump has chosen exactly the right person to serve as our next attorney general: Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama. Senator Sessions has a blend of experience rarely seen in attorneys general: 12 years as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, the top federal law-enforcement officer in that district; several years as the elected attorney general of Alabama; and 20 years as a member of the U.S. Senate. No previous attorney general in our lifetime can match these credentials.

During his time in the Senate, Senator Sessions has served with distinction on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has oversight of the Department of Justice. He has watched the disintegration of the Justice Department under President Obama, including the appointment of two attorneys general who have aided and abetted the unprecedented expansion of unconstitutional executive orders that have undermined the concepts of the Rule of Law and the Separation of Powers that have guided our country’s destiny for over 200 years. Senator Sessions understands the Constitution and is ready, willing and able to assist our next President in returning the nation to the Rule of Law and putting an end to the dictatorial powers assumed by our most recent President.

Senator Sessions understands the criminal justice system and the importance of integrating the efforts of federal, state and local law-enforcement agencies into a seamless web dedicated to public safety. He has personal experience in both state and federal law enforcement, which will enable him to maintain–and improve where necessary–critical interagency cooperation to combat drug trafficking, cyber crime, terrorism, gun violence, immigration enforcement and a variety of other threats to the public.

His many years of experience as part of the Justice Department and the insights he has gained as a member of the Senate have given him a unique knowledge of the Justice Department and its constituent agencies. The Justice Department is a complex, multidivisional entity, covering everything from criminal justice, civil rights, tax, antitrust and tort law to lands and environmental issues, as well as many other issues.

To read more click here.

Sen. Orrin Hatch: Why Jeff Sessions Is the Right Choice for Attorney General

Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions

By Sen. Orrin G. Hatch
Washington Times

Americans spoke resoundingly last month that they want our country to chart a new course. A newly-elected president’s first decisions are typically his Cabinet choices, and President-elect Trump is already charting that new course. Nominees such as Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general show that Mr. Trump is serious about getting that job done.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say that the country has been on the wrong track. That certainly describes the Department of Justice. Just last year, I spoke out about how the department had been politicized, compromised, weakened, and even corrupted. Jeff Sessions is the right person to put the Justice Department back on track.

No attorney general in American history has had Mr. Sessions’ combination of hands-on experience in both criminal justice policy and its implementation. He was a front-line prosecutor for 18 years, 12 of them as United States Attorney. At his confirmation hearing in January, he will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on which he has served for 20 years.

The Senate is receiving letters endorsing Mr. Sessions’ nomination from those who know best what the job of attorney general requires. One letter from 10 former attorneys general and deputy attorneys general over the past three decades says that he is “a person of honesty and integrity” who is “superbly qualified by temperament, intellect, and experience to serve as this nation’s chief law enforcement officer.” Another letter from a bipartisan group of former DEA administrators praises Mr. Sessions’ commitment to “the just and fair enforcement of the laws that Congress has written” and concludes that “he is a protector of civil rights and defender of crime victims.”

To read more click here. 

Police Reforms Likely Won’t Be Priority of Trump’s Justice Department

Militarized police

Militarized police

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Eight years of police reforms under President Obama could be undone with the election of Donald Trump.

That’s a big concern for former Attorney General Eric Holder, who has described the Civil Rights Division as the department’s “crown jewel,” Vice News reports. 

Trump’s choice of Alabama Sen. Jeff Session as attorney general has raised serious concerns because his voting record and statements as a senator suggest he believes the federal government should not be involved with policing.

And with Trump’s pledge to reestablish “law and order,” many worry that the Justice Department is poised for a dramatic shift in priorities

Vice News wrote:

The Justice Department under President Barack Obama focused on criminal justice and police reform more heavily than past administrations did.

Laurie Robinson, who served as assistant attorney general from 1993 to 2000 and then again from 2009 to 2012, characterized Obama’s personal interest in the issue as “highly unusual” for a president but “helpful in spearheading attention.”

Ezekiel Edwards, director of the Criminal Law Reform Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, added that “the Obama administration understood better than previous administrations the calamities that were taking place.”

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