Attorney General Jeff Sessions was on Hugh Hewitt’s show (full disclosure, Hugh Hewitt and RedState are both affiliated with Salem Communications) earlier this morning. Listen to the whole interview below
After some intial discussion about marijuana legalization, Hewitt tosses this in from what seems, at least to me, left field:
HEWITT: Now let me switch to the Department itself, Mr. Attorney General. It had a bad eight years. I’m a proud veteran of the Department of Justice, as you are. But the IRS case, the Fast and Furious case, Secretary Clinton’s server, the Department of Justice came under great criticism. How about an outside counsel, not connected to politics, to review the DOJ’s actions in those matters with authority to bring charges if underlying crimes are uncovered in the course of the investigation, and just generally to look at how the Department of Justice operated in the highly-politicized Holder-Lynch years?
SESSIONS: Well, I’m going to do everything I possibly can to restore the independence and professionalism of the Department of Justice. So we would have to consider whether or not some outside special counsel is needed. Generally, a good review of that internally is the first step before any such decision is made.
HEWITT:Will you be looking at the IRS investigation specifically, because that left many of us thinking that the Department of Justice had laid down for a terrible abuse of political power?
SESSIONS: It does. That circumstance raised a lot of questions in my mind, and when I was in the Senate. So it is a matter of real concern to me.
Sessions is obviously taking some heat for this:
While Sessions expressed an openness to an outside investigation into the Department of Justice, he and other officials from the administration of President Donald Trump have been resistant to calls for an outside investigation into ties between the Russian government and individuals close to the president.
Amid revelations that he met twice with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during last year’s presidential campaign and did not disclose those meetings during his Senate confirmation hearing, Sessions announced last week that he would recuse himself from all Justice Department investigations related to the 2016 election.
There is fertile ground for investigation within Sessions’s construct of an abuse of power. Under Eric Holder the Department of Justice acted as an enforcer for the Obama administration’s agenda. Someone needs to ask why the DOJ refused to investigate the New Black Panther Party for intimidating voters. Okay, that was a rhetorical device, we know WHY the DOJ refused to investigate but someone needs to be held to professional and legal account. Holder was up to his threaded eyebrows is Fast & Furious which resulted in hundreds of deaths. Holder was actually voted in contempt of Congress — twice — over his testimony to Congress over that incident. A good first step would be to bring appropriate civil and criminal charges against him and pursue professional sanctions. Someone needs to find out why Gibson Guitars, whose owner was a donor to GOP candidates, was harassed by federal agents over their use of rare wood in some guitars while their competitor, C. F. Martin, used the same wood and escaped federal attention because its owner was a Democrat. We still don’t know what DOJ discovered about the IRS targeting of conservative groups. Why did DOJ do nothing when the New Black Panther Party offered a $10,000, dead or alive, reward for George Zimmerman? Why did DOJ carry out a legal jihad against members of the press who happened to publish leaks damaging to the administration? (There is actually a book on the subject.)
Loretta Lynch wasn’t around long but she needs to be asked, under oath, what she discussed with Bill Clinton during their “accidental” meeting at a Phoenix airport.
Sessions is right. Under Holder the DOJ, always the most overtly political of the cabinet departments, became a virtual Storm Trooper organization that refused to enforce laws Obama didn’t like and which ruthlessly punished his enemies. If nothing else an internal investigation could serve to purge the hard core Democrat activists that have burrowed into DOJ and allowed Holder’s abuses to take place.