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Obama’s Attorney General Calls Trump’s Crime Policies ‘Dangerous’

The Trump administration is neither “tough” nor “smart” in its approach to fighting crime, according to former Attorney General Eric Holder.

The Hill reported that Holder, who headed the Justice Department when Barack Obama was president, described current criminal-justice policies as “disappointing, dispiriting and ultimately dangerous,” as well as “ideologically motivated.” He made the comments during a speech at the National Law Enforcement Summit on Crime in Washington, D.C.

On the same day, Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Democrats on the panel warned the cabinet official last week that they expected him to testify “fully and truthfully” at the hearing, rather than invoke executive privilege to avoid answering questions.

The Democrats are furious that Sessions has rescinded a number of the policies Obama and Holder enacted. He cancelled the government’s plan to stop sending inmates to private prisons, and instructed federal prosecutors to “pursue the most serious, readily provable” crimes. Sessions has cracked down on people who sell drugs, a departure from Holder’s tolerance of small-time, nonviolent dealers.

At Wednesday’s five-hour hearing, Sessions was not as forthcoming as the Democratic lawmakers had hoped. According to The Washington Post, he refused to talk about his private conversations with Trump concerning the May firing of FBI Director James Comey.

The attorney general also declined to comment on allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to interfere in last year’s election. The president has admitted, more than once, that he dismissed Comey in an attempt to stop the FBI’s investigation of the scandal. Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller has since taken over the probe. His legal team is not only looking into the collusion charge, but also determining whether Trump tried to obstruct justice in sacking Comey.

Sessions defended the firing, claiming that “it’s been fully understood the significance of the error that Mr. Comey made” in overseeing the FBI investigation of the private email server Hillary Clinton used as secretary of state. The attorney general refused to disclose whether Trump ever told him he wanted to get rid of Comey to squelch the Russian investigation. Regarding Mueller, Sessions remarked: “I think he will produce the work in a way he thinks is correct, and history will judge.”

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota asked Sessions about the president’s stated desire to jail reporters who write unflattering stories. He replied: “We have not taken any aggressive action against the media at this point. We always try to find an alternative way, as you probably know, Senator Klobuchar, to directly confronting a media person, but that’s not a total blanket protection.”

Other committee members grilled Sessions about Trump’s executive orders calling for a ban on immigration from certain Muslim-majority countries, which federal courts have deemed unconstitutional. The lawmakers also challenged the administration’s threat to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which blocks the deportation of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors. Another topic at the hearing was the president’s pledge to cut off funding for 'sanctuary cities,' where local police do not cooperate with federal officials in enforcing immigration laws.

Source: Newsmax
Photo: YouTube

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