Trump Blasts Jeff Sessions for Not Doing More to Investigate Dubious Allegations of FBI Misconduct

Here we go again.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions leaves a press conference on opioid drug policy at the Justice Department on Tuesday.Shen Ting/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire

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President Donald Trump upped his criticism of Jeff Sessions on Wednesday, blasting his attorney general on Twitter for not doing enough to investigate alleged FBI malfeasance. His criticism comes after Sessions announced Tuesday that the Justice Department’s inspector general would investigate Republican allegations of the abuse of secret surveillance warrants, including the one used to target former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The FBI has stated that its surveillance of Page was proper, and Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released a memo last week debunking a Republican memo that is the source of the  misconduct allegations.

The accusation of FBI wrongdoing are central to Republican attacks on Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, but that hasn’t stopped him from injecting himself repeatedly into matters he vowed to stay out of. His announcement of the inspector general’s investigation not only lends credence to dubious claims of misconduct but once again puts him in the middle of matters he is supposed to be recused from. 

To Trump, however, what his attorney general is doing is not enough. The president has repeatedly expressed frustration with Sessions for failing to protect him from the Russia probe, an expectation that cuts against the traditional emphasis on preserving an independent Justice Department and FBI. His Twitter outburst on Wednesday was also likely fueled by watching Fox News, which covered Sessions’ announcement of the inspector general investigation Tuesday evening and this morning on Fox and Friends.

Sessions responded to Trump’s tweet Wednesday afternoon, defending his conduct and the independence of the Justice Department.

This post has been updated to include Sessions’ response.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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