Trump assails Sessions for pursuing two Republicans' cases

Posted September 05, 2018

President Donald Trump has tweeted that federal indictments against two Republican congressmen placed the GOP in midterm election jeopardy. 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 NY on insider trading.

Sessions was an early Trump supporter in 2016.

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The White House had no comment on Trump's tweets, but said he chose to not leave the White House and focus on trade calls. Collins is a board member and shareholder of the company.

The investigation into Mr Hunter began under the presidency of Barack Obama, but the Collins inquiry was launched past year.

"This tweet alone may be an impeachable offense", Toobin said Tuesday morning, calling it a "disgrace" that could have had harsh consequences if made by someone in a lower position.

Passing along the information allegedly allowed Collins' son, Cameron, and six other investors to avoid a combined $768,000 in losses by selling shares of Innate before their price plunged 92 percent. Both lawmakers pleaded not guilty: Mr. Hunter is still running for reelection, while Mr. Collins suspended his campaign.

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Writing about the indictment of California's Hunter and his wife for gross misuse of campaign funds for personal purposes, Michael Smolens of The San Diego Union-Tribune noted the indictments came down "under Adam Braverman, a Republican who is the interim U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California".

Fox News has reached out to the White House for additional clarification, and the Justice Department did not immediately respond.

In response to these attacks on Sessions, the nonprofit advocacy group Protect Democracy released a white paper in March titled No "Absolute Right" to Control DOJ: Constitutional Limits on White House Interference with Law Enforcement Matters.

That means that the federal investigation of the Hunters lasted only about eight months under the Obama administration and extended another 19 months under the Trump administration, ending with the August 21 indictment.

President Donald Trump encountered bipartisan criticism today for complaining that his own Justice Department's indictments against two Republican congressmen were endangering the GOP's midterm election prospects, with one Republican senator saying of Trump's attack, "We can't normalize that". However, Trump has been at odds with Sessions after the lawmaker recused himself from the Russia investigation after it was revealed that he did not disclose to Senators that he held meetings with a Russian ambassador during Trump's election campaign.

Members of Congress from both political parties have expressed alarm. The president also wrongly described the indictments as being the result of "t$3 wo long running, Obama era, investigations".

The jumping-off point for the Collins insider-trading investigation was a phone call that began months after Obama left office.