Sessions says he will do his job with 'integrity and honor' after Trump's 'disgraceful' tweet
Attorney General Jeff Sessions/Shutterstock.com.
Jeff Sessions issued a statement pledging to do his job with “integrity and honor” after President Donald Trump tweeted criticism of the attorney general’s handling of claims raised in a GOP memo that accused the FBI and Justice Department of a misleading warrant request on a former Trump campaign aide.
Trump’s tweet said Sessions should have asked Justice Department lawyers to investigate a claim that the FBI and DOJ did not supply sufficient information to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in an application for the surveillance of Carter Page.
Sessions instead referred the matter to the Justice Department’s inspector general. “Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!” said part of Trump’s tweet.
Sessions responded with this statement: “We have initiated the appropriate process that will ensure complaints against this department will be fully and fairly acted upon if necessary. As long as I am the attorney general, I will 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.”
The dispute centers on the handling of allegations that prosecutors and the FBI failed to fully disclose the source of evidence presented to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in an application for surveillance of Page.
The GOP memo says a unverified dossier alleging Russian connections and partly financed by Hillary Clinton’s campaign was an “essential part” of the warrant application, but the Democratic connection was not disclosed. Democrats countered that the warrant application disclosed that the dossier author was “likely looking for information that could be used to discredit” Trump.
Sessions had told reporters on Tuesday that Inspector General Michael Horowitz would investigate. Horowitz has held Justice Department positions under both Republican and Democratic presidents.
Trump has previously criticized Sessions for recusing himself in the investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election.
“For the most part,” the Journal reports, Sessions “has sought to stay focused on his job and not engage the president. But associates of Mr. Sessions say Wednesday morning’s tweet crossed a line because Mr. Trump wasn’t personally bashing the attorney general or making generic complaints about the attorney general not investigating a political rival. In Mr. Sessions’s view, the president was asking him to take concrete investigative steps and not follow standard procedure.”
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2018