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Tag: jeff sessions

AG Sessions Creates Safeguards After Reinstating Controversial Asset Forfeiture

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is creating safeguards to detect problems with the asset forfeiture program that he reinstated amid criticism from Democrats and Republicans.

In July, Sessions reversed a decision by former Attorney General Eric Holder to end the program, which had been mired in problems.

Sessions directed his deputy attorney general to hire a director to review the policy and identify and correct any problems that arise, the Washington Post reports

“The asset forfeiture program has proven to be extremely valuable to law enforcement in our country, but it has received certain criticisms,” Sessions wrote in his memo to Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein.

Holder ended the program two years ago to prevent state and local police from seizing cash and other property without warrants or criminal charges.

Rep. Nunes Threatens to Hold FBI Director, AG in Contempt over Trump Dossier

Rep. Devin Nunes

Rep. Devin Nunes

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes accused Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray of stonewalling him and threatened to hold both in contempt if they don’t produce a subpoena for documents related to a salacious dossier involving President Trump.

The California Republican also threatened in a Sept. 1 letter to publicly grill the Trump appointees before the committee if they don’t turn over the documents, CNN reports

In the letter, Nunes criticized the pair’s “insufficient responsiveness to the committee’s numerous Russia-investigation related requests over the past several months.”

Tunes subpoenaed “any and all documents relating to the agencies’ relationship with former British Secret Intelligence Service officer Christopher Steele and/or the so-called ‘Trump dossier'” on August 24.

It’s unclear whether he’s acting on behalf of committee Republicans or himself.

Trump Asked AG Sessions to Close Criminal Case Against Joe Arpaio

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump asked Attorney General Jeff Session earlier this year to close the criminal case against former Arizona county sheriff Joe Arpaio, a partner in the crackdown of illegal immigration, the Washington Post reports

Trump was advised that it would be inappropriate to drop the criminal case against Arpaio, who was found in contempt of court for ignoring a federal judge’s order to stop ordering the detainment of people based solely on suspicions that they were undocumented immigrants.

So on Friday, the president issued his first pardon for Arpaio, one of the president’s allies in the “birther” movement.

“We knew the president wanted to do this for some time now and had worked to prepare for whenever the moment may come,” said one White House official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the action.

Justice Department Stymies DEA’s Proposal to Grow More Marijuana for Research

marijuanainthemittenphotoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA’s plans to allow more research of marijuana has been stymied by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has insisted pot is almost as dangerous as heroin.

The Justice Department has not allowed the DEA to move forward with proposals to grow more marijuana for research, the Washington Post reports. 

“They’re sitting on it,” said one law enforcement official familiar with the matter. “They just will not act on these things.”

Consequently, one senior DEA official said, “the Justice Department has effectively shut down this program to increase research registrations.’’

The standoff pits the DEA and Justice Department against each other on the value of researching marijuana to determine if it has medicinal benefits. Although more than two dozen states have approved the use of medicinal marijuana, the federal government still considers pot a schedule 1 drug.

Times of Trenton: Trump’s Justice Department Erodes Constitutional Rights

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

By Editorial Board
Times of Trenton

“It tears at the fabric of our great nation and does not move us forward; it takes us backwards.”

With these terse words, more than 60 members of Congress – including half a dozen from New Jersey – summed up their dismay over a decision by the U.S. Department of Justice that does an enormous injustice to members of the LGBTQ community.

In a no-holds-barred letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the lawmakers expressed deep disappointment concerning a friend-of-the-court brief the department filed late last month in the case of Zarda v. Altitude Express.

In the brief, the nation’s top law-enforcement body claims that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect lesbians, gays or bisexual people from discrimination.

Not so fast, the letter writers argue. Not only is the Justice Department’s action contrary to existing law, they say forcefully, but it also violates the country’s basic ideals of liberty and justice for all.

The original lawsuit under review stems from 2010, when a skydiving instructor named Donald Zarda charged that a former employer, Altitude Express, Inc., violated the Civil Rights Act by discriminating against him because of his sexual orientation.

FBI, Justice Department Investigate Violence in Charlottesville, Va.

Suspect James Fields

Suspect James Fields

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and Justice Department have opened a civil rights investigation into a deadly car crash caused by a white nationalist who plunged into a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Va.

“The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice,” said Attorney General Jeff Session, who has involved the DOJ’s civil rights division, Politico reports

The violence broke out late Saturday morning after hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and neo-Confederates converged on Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue of a Confederate general. They cashed with counter-protesters.

Shortly after the governor declared a state of emergency, a car driven by a 20-year-old Ohio resident who idolized Hitler drove into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring 19 others.

James Fields, of the Toledo area, was charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and hit-and-run.

The FBI has interviewed Fields’ mother, according to the Toledo Blade.

“When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated,” Sessions said. “I have talked with FBI Director Chris Wray, FBI agents on the scene, and law enforcement officials for the state of Virginia. The FBI has been supporting state and local authorities throughout the day. U.S. Attorney Rick Mountcastle has commenced a federal investigation and will have the full support of the Department of Justice. Justice will prevail.”

AG Sessions: Car Attack in Charlottesville ‘Does Meet the Definition of Domestic Terrorism’

Suspect James Alex Fields

Suspect James Alex Fields

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said this morning that an Ohio driver who plunged into a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Va., “does meet the definition of domestic terrorism.”

The driver, 20-year-old James Fields, killed one person and injured 19 others.

“It does meet the definition of domestic terrorism in our statute,” Sessions said on ABC News’ “Good Morning America” today. “We are pursuing it in the (Justice Department) in every way that we can make a case.”

Sessions said the driver could be charged with more serious, federal charges.

“You can be sure we will charge and advance the investigation towards the most serious charges that can be brought because this is unequivocally an unacceptable evil attack,” he said. “Terrorism investigators from the FBI are working on the case as well as civil rights division FBI agents.”

The car slammed into a group of people protesting white supremacists who turned up in droves to protest the planned removal of a statue of a Confederate general.

AG Sessions’ Extreme Position on Marijuana Worries States That Legalized It

Photo by Steve Neavling.

Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who said earlier this year that marijuana “is only slightly less awful” than heroin, has prompted concerns among states that have legalized marijuana use.

Despite a federal law banning marijuana use, eight states have approved marijuana for recreational use. Nearly 30 states have legalized medical marijuana.

In letters released last week, Sessions warned four governors that he had “serious concerns” about legalizing marijuana, the Los Angeles Times reports

The letters were vague enough that states aren’t sure whether Sessions plans to crack down on legalization. Sessions said he wanted to talk with governors about his concerns.

“The letters did appear to be a bit off base, and in several instances referred to the way things were but are no longer. But more importantly, the letters did not tell the states they lack the authority to sell marijuana,” Mason Tvert, a co-director of Colorado’s 2012 legal marijuana initiative, said.