President Donald Trump renewed his attack on U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He called the attorney general’s handling of the alleged surveillance abuses “disgraceful.”
On Tuesday, Sessions said the Department of Justice (DOJ) will investigate the allegations of possible abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Act (FISA). He asked the department’s Inspector General to look into the matter.
On Wednesday, Trump criticized Session’s decision and doubted the ability of Inspector General to probe the allegation. The President tweeted:
“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!”
GOP lawmaker says DOJ Inspector General is “fair and fact centric”
In 2012, the U.S. Senate confirmed Michael Horowitz as Inspector General of the DOJ. He previously served as Commissioner on the U.S. Sentencing Commission during the administration of George W. Bush.
For months, Horowitz has been reviewing the actions of the DOJ and FBI in connection with the Hillary Clinton e-mail probe. He is expected to release his final report on the matter this spring. Take not that Trump is complaining about the amount of time he spent on the matter.
In a statement, Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy defended Horowitz. According to him, the Inspector General “has been fair, fact centric, and appropriately confidential with his work.”
He added, “I have complete confidence in him and hope he is given the time, the resources and the independence to complete his work.” Gowdy is the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee.
Sessions says he will continue to perform his duties with integrity
In response, Sessions released a statement indicating that they “initiated the appropriate process that will ensure complaints against this department will be fully and fairly acted upon if necessary.”
In addition, Sessions said, “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.”
Trump has been critical of the Attorney General particularly his decision to recuse himself from the DOJ’s investigation into the allegations that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
Meanwhile, Republican Cong. Peter King told Fox News that Trump should not be criticizing Session in public. The congressman noted that the Attorney General is “loyal to the President” and the “first to support him.”
Additionally, King said, Sessions is “often in very difficult positions and “he’s trying to reconcile as best as he can.”