Sessions Defends Himself After Trump Attack

Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed to do his job with “integrity and honor” after President Trump criticized him for asking the Justice Department’s Inspector General to investigate the FBI’s surveillance activities in the Russia probe.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions rebuffed criticism from President Trump, vowing to do his job with “integrity and honor” after the president said it was “disgraceful” that Sessions asked an internal watchdog to investigate Republicans’ claims of inappropriate behavior by FBI agents, reports Politico. Trump’s tweet blasted Sessions for directing Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz to investigate the FBI’s activities surrounding surveillance of ex-campaign adviser Carter Page starting in 2016. “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,” the president tweeted. “Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!”

In an unusual public response that did not mention Trump, Sessions rejected the attack. “We have initiated the appropriate process that will ensure complaints against this Department will be fully and fairly acted upon if necessary,” Sessions said in a statement. “As long as I am the Attorney General, I will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor, and this Department will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and Constitution.” The dispute — two years to the day after Sessions became the first senator to endorse Trump’s presidential campaign — was the latest flap in which the president has taken Sessions to task over his handling of the ongoing federal probe into Russian election interference and whether any Trump campaign aides were involved. Trump has bristled at Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the investigation. Shortly after that, Trump demanded Sessions’ resignation, but he decided not to accept it at the urging of White House advisers. Despite Trump’s calling Horowitz an “Obama guy,” he has been appointed to jobs by presidents of both parties.