Attorney General Jeff Sessions says DACA “could not be sustained” and was “unlawful” https://t.co/y4ceCFKQhN
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 18, 2017
On Wednesday, Jeff Sessions appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He checked in on a broad range of items, including DACA, sanctuary cities, murder rates in Chicago, terrorism, and the Russia probe. Unsurprisingly, Sessions stuck to his guns on almost every one of his top issues, refusing to reveal much new information. But there are two interesting tidbits that hint at what the White House is thinking: (1) The Trump administration is still willing to play ball when it comes to DACA; (2) Sessions isn’t going to roll on President Trump any time soon.
The committee had asked for specifics on the Trump administration’s repeated claims that immigrants are associated with violent crimes and gang activity. “We want to know who these criminals are, what kinds of crimes they’re committing and what gangs they’re with,” said Senator Chuck Grassley in a statement. He also wanted to know how the Department of Justice planned to prevent backlogs on immigration cases, but the Judiciary Committee didn’t receive specifics in response.
Instead, Sessions reiterated how different this Justice Department is different from the Obama version. “The president has said he wants to work with Congress,” Sessions told the committee. “He has a heart for young people.” That said, Sessions doubled down on the administration’s line that DACA “could not be sustained” and was “unlawful and contrary to the laws passed by this institution.”
Senator Grassley also brought up ten unanswered oversight letters sent to the DOJ on subjects which Sessions should be free to discuss, despite his recusal from the Russia matter. He also noted that “the American people have a right to know why [James Comey] was fired.” But Sessions flatly declined to open up, stating simply that he “can neither assert executive privilege neither can I disclose today the contents of my confidential conversations with the President.” It’s not the first time he’s dodged similar questions in equally serious forums. Nor does it look like it will be the last.