WaPo: Jeff Sessions ‘Methodically Reshaping’ DOJ to ‘Reflect Nationalist Ideology and Hard-Line Views’

AP Photo
The Associated Press

The Washington Post lamented Friday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is dramatically changing his Department of Justice while the media has been distracted by the “Russia story.”

According to the piece:

From his crackdown on illegal immigration to his reversal of Obama administration policies on criminal justice and policing, Sessions is methodically reshaping the Justice Department to reflect his nationalist ideology and hard-line views — moves drawing comparatively less public scrutiny than the ongoing investigations into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Kremlin.

“[L]egislators spent little time asking Sessions about the dramatic and controversial changes in policy he has made since taking over the top law enforcement job in the United States nine months ago,” the Post’s Matt Zapotosky writes of Sessions’s recent appearance before the House Judiciary Committee at which Democrats repeated asked about the Attorney General’s momentary meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak and other non-policy matters.

According to Zapotosky, Sessions’s return to prosecution guidelines broadly similar to those that prevailed before predecessor Eric Holder allowed U.S. Attorneys to ignore evidence to charge drug defendants with lesser offenses is primarily a racial issue. “Sessions has implemented a new charging and sentencing policy that calls for prosecutors to pursue the most serious charges possible, even if that might mean minority defendants face stiff, mandatory minimum penalties,” he writes.

Similarly, sanctuary cities are described as “cities with policies [Sessions] considers too friendly toward undocumented immigrants.”

Citing no source, the piece posits Sessions asks about where terror suspects are from:

In meetings with top Justice Department officials about terrorist suspects, Sessions often has a particular question: Where is the person from? When officials tell him a suspect was born and lives in the United States, he typically has a follow-up: To what country does his family trace its lineage?

Vanita Gupta, President Barack Obama’s controversial head of the DOJ civil rights division, adds that Sessions has an “unwillingness to recognize the history of this country is rooted in immigration,” and that, “[o]n issue after issue, it’s very easy to see what his worldview is of what this country is and who belongs in this country,” she said, adding that his view is ‘distinctly anti-immigrant.’”

Read the rest here.