Trump blasts Sessions over indictments of two of his earliest congressional supporters

President Donald Trump on Monday ...

Posted: Sep 4, 2018 10:15 AM
Updated: Sep 4, 2018 10:15 AM

President Donald Trump on Monday blasted his Attorney General Jeff Sessions and lamented the indictments of two lawmakers who were his earliest supporters in Congress during the 2016 election, suggesting they should not have been charged because they are Republicans.

"Two long running, 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," Trump tweeted. "Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff..."

2016 Presidential election

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Criminal law

Criminal offenses

Donald Trump

Elections (by type)

Elections and campaigns

Government and public administration

Government organizations - US

Indictments

Jeff Sessions

Law and legal system

Political candidates

Political Figures - US

Political organizations

Political scandals

Politics

Scandals

US Congress

US Federal elections

US House of Representatives

US political parties

US Presidential elections

US Republican Party

White collar crime

Chris Collins

Government bodies and offices

Government departments and authorities

Investigations

Justice departments

US Department of Justice

US federal departments and agencies

US federal government

White House

Criminal investigations

A decision by the Justice Department to hold off on prosecuting two Republican congressmen up for re-election in order to help them win would have been highly unethical and a blatantly politically motivated violation of the department's nonpartisan mission. The comment on Monday was the latest indication that Trump, who ran on a pledge to "drain the swamp," believes his political allies should be immune from prosecution, regardless of the evidence stacked against them.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the President's tweets.

The tweet marked Trump's latest attack on the Justice Department, which has a long history of carrying out investigations and pursuing indictments in a nonpartisan fashion. Federal prosecutors are strongly admonished not to let politics affect charging decisions in the way the President advocated on Monday.

"Politics must play no role in the decisions of federal investigators or prosecutors regarding any investigations or criminal charges. Law enforcement officers and prosecutors may never select the timing of investigative steps or criminal charges for the purpose of affecting any election, or for the purpose of giving an advantage or disadvantage to any candidate or political party," reads a 2016 Justice Department memorandum issued by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, which mirrors language issued by previous attorneys general ahead of federal elections.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, and Rep. Chris Collins, R-New York, were indicted within two weeks of each other last month on unrelated charges.

Collins was charged with 13 counts of securities fraud, wire fraud and making false statements related to an alleged insider trading scheme.

Hunter was indicted for using campaign funds for personal use and were charged with counts of wire fraud, falsifying records, campaign finance violations and conspiracy.

Both lawmakers have pleaded not guilty.

Under long-standing Justice Department custom, prosecutors generally avoid public disclosure of overt investigative steps involving a candidate for office or election matters within 60 days of an election.

But the so-called, 60-day rule is not an official regulation or found in any federal statute. Instead, it's up to prosecutors to use their best judgment and, above all else, make sure that political considerations play no role in investigative decisions.

Republican congressional leadership considered the charges serious enough to move to strip both men of their committee assignments. Collins suspended his campaign days after he was indicted, while Hunter is continuing to campaign for re-election.

AshLee Strong, a spokesperson for House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, responded to Trump's tweet by saying the Justice Department "should always remain apolitical, and the speaker has demonstrated he takes these charges seriously."

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse, of Nebraska, also reacted to the tweet, saying, "The United States is not some banana republic with a two-tiered system of justice -- one for the majority party and one for the minority party. These two men have been charged with crimes because of evidence, not because of who the President was when the investigations began. Instead of commenting on ongoing investigations and prosecutions, the job of the President of the United States is to defend the Constitution and protect the impartial administration of justice."

The tweet was just the latest instance in which Trump has defended one of his political allies despite significant evidence of wrongdoing and a federal prosecution. Trump also defended his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and insisted he was unfairly treated, even after Manafort was found guilty on eight counts of financial crimes.

While Trump suggested the investigations into the two lawmakers began during the Obama administration, the charges against Collins stem from actions he allegedly took last year -- including calls he placed while at the White House for a congressional picnic hosted by Trump.

The Justice Department also began investigating Hunter last year, with the House Ethics Committee announcing in March 2017 that it was holding off on taking action against Hunter because the Justice Department had launched a criminal investigation into his use of campaign funds.

The tweet also amounts to Trump's latest broadside against his attorney general, whose recusal from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign Trump has refused to forgive and continued to fume about.

In a second tweet, Trump said Democrats "must love" Sessions and likened the situation to Democrats support for former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired last year.

"The Dems all hated him, wanted him out, thought he was disgusting UNTIL I FIRED HIM! Immediately he became a wonderful man, a saint like figure in fact. Really sick!" Trump tweeted.

West Lafayette
Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 65°
Kokomo
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 61°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 59°
Fowler
Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 65°
Williamsport
Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 64°
Crawfordsville
Mostly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 61°
Frankfort
Mostly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 61°
Delphi
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 61°
Monticello
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 61°
Logansport
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 61°
Wet, then drier with very warm to hot & humid weather.....
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 735462

Reported Deaths: 13480
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1006161752
Lake54169976
Allen40913680
St. Joseph36301553
Hamilton35807408
Elkhart28815442
Tippecanoe22464219
Vanderburgh22367397
Porter18921310
Johnson18063381
Hendricks17310315
Clark13032192
Madison12754339
Vigo12497249
LaPorte12073215
Monroe11945170
Delaware10750187
Howard9985218
Kosciusko9463117
Hancock8367142
Bartholomew8096156
Warrick7797155
Floyd7686178
Grant7094174
Wayne7069199
Boone6740101
Morgan6606139
Dubois6165117
Marshall6108112
Cass5886105
Dearborn583178
Henry5779105
Noble565084
Jackson503473
Shelby494196
Lawrence4591120
Gibson436892
Harrison436472
DeKalb430485
Clinton428453
Montgomery425789
Whitley397939
Huntington394280
Steuben391057
Miami383768
Knox372890
Jasper372049
Putnam363360
Wabash355280
Adams342655
Ripley340870
Jefferson331881
White316854
Daviess298399
Wells292081
Decatur285992
Fayette281962
Greene280485
Posey272034
LaGrange268870
Scott267454
Clay261147
Washington242132
Randolph242081
Spencer232731
Jennings230949
Starke218954
Fountain213746
Sullivan212242
Owen203056
Jay197630
Fulton196140
Carroll190220
Orange184454
Perry184437
Rush174025
Vermillion170044
Franklin168435
Tipton163345
Parke146716
Pike135334
Blackford135132
Pulaski117345
Newton108834
Brown102641
Crawford101415
Benton99014
Martin89515
Warren82615
Switzerland7948
Union71410
Ohio57111
Unassigned0417

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events