Attorney General Jeff Sessions has hit back at President Trump for criticism regarding his lack of investigation into alleged abuses by the FBI and the Department of Justice in obtaining FISA warrants to spy on member of the Trump campaign.
Over the weekend President Trump criticized Sessions during an interview, saying “A lot of bad things happened on the other side … what they did was really fraudulent and someone should be looking into that. And, by someone, I mean you-know-who.” It was widely understood the President meant Sessions.
President Trump has been highly critical of Sessions ever since the former Alabama Senator recused himself from all matters relating to the Russia investigation. The recusal paved the way for the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller to head the investigation.
President Trump’s main complaint about Sessions is his lack of sufficient protection of the President politically, something he believes, the role of Attorney General encompasses. He expects his Attorney General to protect him the same way, he believes, Robert F. Kennedy protected John F. Kennedy, and Eric Holder protected Barack Obama.
“When you look at the I.R.S. scandal, when you look at the guns for whatever, when you look at all of the tremendous…real problems they had, not made-up problems like Russian collusion, these were real problems,” President Trump told the New York Times earlier this year. “When you look at the things that they did, and Holder protected the president. And I have great respect for that, I’ll be honest.”
The President also tweeted this morning that it was “disgraceful” that Sessions asked the Department of Justice’s Inspector General to investigate potential abuses and is not using DOJ lawyers. An investigation the attorney general made public yesterday.
“Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!” the President wrote.
In response to the President’s tweet this morning, Sessions issued a statement saying that as long as he is attorney general he would “continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor, and this Department will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and Constitution.”
“We have initiated the appropriate process that will ensure complaints against this Department will be fully and fairly acted upon if necessary,” Sessions added.
A memo released by Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee last week confirmed that more than one member of the Trump campaign had been surveilled by the FBI for possible collusion with individuals from foreign countries looking to interfere in U.S. elections, specifically Russia.