Washington, March 1 (IANS) Attorney General Jeff Sessions pushed back against Donald Trump’s latest insult, prolonging an increasingly awkward public spat between the US President and his top law enforcement official, the media reported.
Trump chastised Sessions over an investigation into alleged surveillance abuses, calling his approach “disgraceful”, reports CNN
“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,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday night.
“Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? Disgraceful!”
Responding to Trump’s tweet, Sessions said in a statement that the Justice Department “initiated the appropriate process that will ensure complaints against this department will be fully and fairly acted upon if necessary”.
“As long as I am the Attorney General, I will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honoUr, and this department will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and Constitution,” Sessions said.
On Tuesday, Sessions said that the Justice Department is looking at whether the FBI has properly handled applications for surveillance orders under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), reports CNN.
In a media appearance, Sessions was asked about House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes’ controversial memo outlining purported surveillance abuses and told reporters that “the Inspector General will take that as one of the matters he’ll deal with”.
The Justice Department’s Inspector General is Michael E. Horowitz, a longtime department official who has worked under Republican and Democrat administrations. He was confirmed for the job in 2012 under former President Barack Obama.
Trump’s anger toward Sessions stems from his decision to recuse himself from all investigations into the 2016 campaign, including special counsel Robert Mueller’s expanding investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives bent on meddling in the election.
Sessions made that decision after he did not fully answer questions during his confirmation hearing about his conversations with Russian diplomats during the 2016 campaign.
Trump, in turn, has said he would not have named Sessions to lead the Justice Department had he known he would have recused himself.