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

Ladysmith walks to help others on the Coldest Night of the Year

Community asked to step up for the local hungry and homeless

Unplowed Roads parody song destined to be a classic

Move over Weird Al, Island elementary students on the same level

North Cowichan to pause all logging in forest reserve for 2019

Municipality expects decision to cause $150,000 shorfall this year

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

Sound of Music echoes with a surprising amount of cool

Chemainus Theatre review: my teenage self didn’t know what he was missing

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

Vancouver Island petition to decriminalize all drugs continues to collect signatures

A Courtenay couple is collecting signatures for their petition to decriminalize drugs in Canada

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

‘A little baloney’ in PM’s claim about solicitor-client privilege on SNC-Lavalin

The Conservatives and NDP want Trudeau to waive that privilege so Wilson-Raybould can offer her side of the story

Proposed edible pot rules are wasteful, would leave products tasteless: critics

When Canada legalized weed last fall, it only allowed fresh or dried bud, oil, plants and seeds

Samsung folding phone is different – but also almost $2,000

But most analysts see a limited market for foldable-screen phones

Most Read