TrumpWatch, Day 502: Trump Again Attacks Sessions, Fuelling Obstruction of Justice Scenario

Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions (Shawn Thew/Getty)

Trump also tries to revive “Spygate” to push back Trump-Russia investigation


Trump Blames “Russian Witch Hunt” on Attorney General

Donald Trump has again attacked Attorney General Jeff Sessions, adding more fuel to possible obstruction of justice charges in the Trump-Russia investigation.

Trump has repeatedly insulted Sessions and threatened his dismissal. However, the stakes were elevated last week with the revelation that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking into several occassions when Trump pressured the Attorney General to reverse his recusal from the Russia inquiry.

Sessions stepped aside in March 2017 because of his contacts, as a Trump campaign official, with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and his failure to declare them in his confirmation hearings. But Trump insisted, including over dinner at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, that the Attorney General change his mind.

See TrumpWatch, Day 496: “Unforced Betrayal” — Trump Continues Attack on Attorney General Sessions

Amid a day of frenetic Twitter activity, Trump wrote yesterday:

Trump also tried to revive his fictional claim that the FBI put a spy inside his 2016 campaign after the effort appeared to have fizzled out last week: “SPYGATE is in full force! Is the Mainstream Media interested yet? Big stuff!”

And he resorted again to another falsehood, trying to shift the blame amid criticism of the separation of children from undocumented immigrant parents who cross the US border:

There is no US law mandating separation. Instead it was Jeff Sessions, acting on Trump’s demands, who ordered authorities last month to pursue 100% prosecution of border-crossers, with parents brought before a judge and children taken to Government shelters.

The Obama Administration had ended the practice of separation in 2014.

See TrumpWatch, Day 493: Trump’s Lie Over Immigrant Children Separated from Parents

On Tuesday, Sessions defended the Trump policy in a lengthy interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt

If people don’t want to be separated from their children, they should not bring them with them. We’ve got to get this message out. You’re not given immunity.

Hewitt pressed, “I don’t think children should be separated from biological parents at any age, but especially if they’re infants and toddlers. I think it’s traumatic and terribly difficult on the child.”

But Sessions held the line by comparing undocumented immigrants to convicted criminals:

And every time somebody, Hugh, gets prosecuted in America for a crime, American citizens, and they go to jail, they’re separated from their children.

The Department of Health and Human Service’s Administration for Children and Families is caring for more than 11,000 unaccompanied children at the moment, and averaging about 45 days to place them with temporary homes.

Hundreds of children, nearly half of them under the age of 12, are being in custody at US border stations for more than the limit of 72 hours but Sessions insisted, “I believe for the most part they’re well taken care of. We need to get this border under control.”

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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