In this July 13, 2018 photo, Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivers remarks in Portland, Maine. President Donald Trump is escalating his attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, suggesting the embattled official should have intervened in investigations of two GOP congressmen to help Republicans in the midterms. AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Trump attacks Sessions, suggests DOJ hurt GOP in midterms

Trump tweeted Monday that investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions.

President Donald Trump escalated his attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday, suggesting the Department of Justice put Republicans in midterm jeopardy with recent indictments of two GOP congressmen.

In his latest broadside against the Justice Department’s traditional independence, Trump tweeted that “Obama era investigations, of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department.”

He added: “Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff……”

The president’s striking suggestion that the Justice Department consider politics when making decisions showed his disregard for the agency’s independence. Trump has frequently suggested he views Justice less as a law enforcement agency and more as a department that is supposed to do his personal and political bidding. Still, investigators are never supposed to take into account the political affiliations of the people they investigate.

Trump, who did not address the specifics of the charges, did not name the Republicans. But he was apparently referring to the first two Republicans to endorse him in the GOP presidential primaries. Both were indicted on separate charges last month: Rep. Duncan Hunter of California on charges that included spending campaign funds for personal expenses and Rep. Chris Collins of New York on insider trading. Both have proclaimed their innocence.

Related: Trump aides questioned in Russia probe, Trump may be up soon

Related: Trump denies wrongdoing, says Cohen is making up stories

The Hunter investigation began in June 2016, according to the indictment. The indictment into Collins lays out behaviour from 2017. He was also under investigation by congressional ethics officials.

Hunter has not exited his race, while Collins ended his re-election bid days after his indictment. Both seats appear likely to remain in GOP hands, but the charges have raised Democratic hopes.

A spokeswoman for Sessions declined comment, and the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump did not have any public events Monday. He briefly exited the White House to a waiting motorcade, but then went back inside without going anywhere.

He has previously pressed Sessions to investigate his perceived enemies and has accused Sessions of failing to take control of the Justice Department. Trump has also repeatedly complained publicly and privately over Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the federal investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia because he’d worked on Trump’s campaign.

Some of the issues Trump has raised have either already been examined or are being investigated.

The tension between Trump and Sessions boiled over recently with Sessions punching back, saying that he and his department “will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.” Still, Sessions has made clear to associates that he has no intention of leaving his job voluntarily despite Trump’s constant criticism.

Allies, including Republican members of Congress, have long advised Trump that firing Sessions — especially before the November midterm elections — would be deeply damaging to the party. But some have indicated that Trump may make a change after the elections.

“I think there will come a time, sooner rather than later, where it will be time to have a new face and a fresh voice at the Department of Justice,” Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told reporters recently.

Eric Tucker contributed from Washington and Mike Balsamo contributed from New York City.

Catherine Lucey, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

More burning prohibitions rescinded in southeast B.C.

Category 2 and 3 fires will be permitted in Southeast Fire Centre as of 1p.m. on Wednesday.

Cops For Kids’ southeast B.C. tour rolls on

Annual RCMP fundraiser will see 34 cyclists ride 1,000 kilometres raising funds

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

B.C. parents leery of HPV cervical cancer vaccine

Provincial registration uptake among lowest in Canada

Winlaw preemie survives smoky birth

GoFundMe Campaign started for West Kootenay family with preemie baby.

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

Most Read