Trump lashes out against Sessions

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump escalated his attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday, suggesting the Department of Justice put Republicans in midterm jeopardy with recent indictments of two GOP congressmen.

In his latest broadside against the Justice Department’s traditional independence, Trump tweeted that “Obama era investigations, of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department.”

He added: “Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff……”

The president’s striking suggestion that the Justice Department consider politics when making decisions showed his disregard for the agency’s independence. Trump has frequently suggested he views Justice less as a law enforcement agency and more as a department that is supposed to do his personal and political bidding. Still, investigators are never supposed to take into account the political affiliations of the people they investigate.

Trump, who did not address the specifics of the charges, did not name the Republicans. But he was apparently referring to the first two Republicans to endorse him in the GOP presidential primaries. 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 New York on insider trading.

The Hunter investigation began in June 2016, according to the indictment. The indictment into Collins lays out behavior from 2017. He was also under investigation by congressional ethics officials.

A spokeswoman for Sessions declined comment, and the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Trump did not have any public events Monday. He briefly exited the White House to a waiting motorcade, but then went back inside without going anywhere.

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