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

B.C. Land Matching Program supports new farmers in Columbia Basin

This program connects farmers looking for land with landowners wanting to lease their land for farming.

Exploring BC’s heritage in the context of culture and community

Creston Museum is partnering with the Heritage Branch and Heritage BC to present a provincial roundtable at the CDCC.

Trail bus line readies to takeover Kelowna run

Silver City Stage Lines must have a booking site up by Sept. 30; two vehicles activated by Oct. 26

Jumbo’s legal boondoggle continues

Province appealing the BC Supreme Court decision

Ducks Unlimited 34th Annual Dinner & Auction

The fundraiser takes place on Saturday, October 13th, 2018 at the Creston & District Community Complex.

VIDEO: Messages of hope, encouragement line bars of B.C. bridge

WARNING: This story contains references to suicide and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

First court date for B.C. man accused of murdering Belgian tourist

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance in Chilliwack

Pot, cash, mansions: Judge divvies up illegal estate of divorcing B.C. couple

The Smiths ran a multi-million marijuana operation that spanned three counties

Around the BCHL: Nanaimo Clippers acquire defenceman from Langley Rivermen

Around the BCHL is a look at goings on around the BCHL and the junior A world.

B.C. co-op develops tech to help prevent ODs, especially for alone users

Brave Technology has been awarded $200,000 in the Ohio Opioid Technology Challenge

Recent jump in U.S. butter imports? All smooth, says Canadian dairy farmers

U.S. farmers recently enjoyed extra access to the Canadian market

Potential replacements for Phoenix pay system to start testing soon: Brison

Testing of prototypes to replace troubled federal pay system will begin within weeks

Nanaimo’s Tilray Inc. briefly the world’s largest cannabis company

The company, only listed in the US, nearly reached $300 in afternoon trading on Wednesday

Most Read