Despite President Trump’s insistence on privately and publicly berating his attorney general for various reasons, Jeff Sessions remains the head of the Justice Department. Between Chief of Staff John Kelly’s promised job security and Sen. Lindsey Graham’s threat to unleash “holy hell” on the White House should Sessions be fired, the former Alabama senator is still hard at work going to bat for his president. He even announced on Tuesday that the DOJ’s top watchdog, Inspector General Michael Horowitz, would be investigating alleged FISA abuses in light of the dueling congressional memos.
Yet it seems Tuesday’s announcement was not enough to appease Trump, for the president took to Twitter Wednesday morning to attack Sessions and Horowitz in kind:
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. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!
Trump is correct in pointing out that Horowitz is an Obama appointee, as his predecessor picked him for the Inspector General position in 2012, a position he was subsequently confirmed for by the U.S. Senate. However, before serving as the department’s watchdog Horowitz was appointed by President George W. Bush to fill the role of the Commissioner on the U.S. Sentencing Commission in 2003, a role the Senate also confirmed him for. His actual political affiliation is unknown, but it seems the more recent Obama appointment is all Trump cares (or knows) about.
During Tuesday’s DOJ press conference, Sessions was asked about Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R-California) controversial memo, which outlined alleged FISA abuses. In response, he revealed that “the inspector general will take that as one of the matters he’ll deal with.” He also said “the Department of Justice must adhere to the highest standards in the FISA court, and yes, it will be investigated, and I think that’s just the appropriate thing.”