Jeff Sessions warned Justice Department officials not to recoil from congressional demands for information about alleged wrongdoing. | Steve Helber/AP Photo
Jeff Sessions was in Norfolk, VA, yesterday to give a speech to law enforcement officials (I would tell you what the gathering was but apparently the art of writing a properly formulated lede paragraph has vanished). Naturally, he touched on immigration and other issues but the most significant thing he talked about was the extent to which the Justice Department became politicized under Obama and Sessions’ determination to return to a policy of enforcing the law without “fear or favor.”
“My purpose every day is to get the department back to its fundamental mission of enforcing the law and protecting the safety of Americans with integrity and fairness,” Sessions said during a speech in Norfolk, Virginia. “That’s the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, and that’s what my team works at every day.”
“We need to do our duty and follow the law,” the attorney general told an audience composed largely of federal, state and local law enforcement officials. “It means absolutely eliminating political bias or favoritism — in either direction—from our investigations and our prosecutions. That sort of thinking is the antithesis of what the department stands for. We will not tolerate it.”
Sessions, who spent 20 years as a senator from Alabama, also warned Justice Department officials not to recoil from congressional demands for information about alleged wrongdoing.
“We don’t see criticism from Congress as necessarily a bad thing,” he said. “We welcome Congress as a partner in our effort to get better. When they learn of a problem and start asking questions, that is a good thing. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, truly. A culture of defensiveness is not acceptable. The Department of Justice does not always know what’s best; we’re not always perfect. No one is. And, it can never be that our department would conceal errors if they are to occur.”
This is so critical. While a lot of us get accused of holding “anti-government” views (I plead proudly guilty), the underlying issue is that laws are not enforced fairly. If you have the right connections you can be bulletproof to a lot of crimes. If you are a federal agency you can lie under oath, you can sell guns illegally, you can intimidate, you can kick in doors, you can simply confiscate money and property, you can legally kill people without any penalty.
The degree to which the Justice Department had become just a bureaucratic outpost of the Democrat party was apparent shortly after Donald Trump was inaugurated when the acting attorney general, Sally Yates, refused to carry out her duty of defending President Trump’s executive order restricting the ability citizens of failed states and state sponsors of terrorism to travel to the United States.
That the Justice Department is staffed to the brim with progressive SJWs is hardly a secret. If you recall, the Bush administration tried to clean it out and failed.
I wish him well but it is an Augean stable.