The Latest: Flake slams Trump’s Justice Department attack

September 4, 2018
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In this July 13, 2018 photo, Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivers remarks in Portland, Maine. President Donald Trump is escalating his attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, suggesting the embattled official should have intervened in investigations of two GOP congressmen to help Republicans in the midterms. Trump tweeted Monday that “investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department.” (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice (all times local):

2:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s attack on his own Justice Department for pursuing cases against two GOP congressmen is drawing fire from his fellow Republicans.

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake says Trump’s criticism of the agency for jeopardizing the two lawmakers’ seats exceeds what previous presidents have said. He said Tuesday, “We can’t normalize that.”

A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan says the Justice Department must be apolitical. AshLee Strong says Ryan is taking seriously the charges lodged against New York Rep. Chris Collins and California Rep. Duncan Hunter.

Trump tweeted Monday both indictments came weeks before November’s midterm elections. In a shot at Attorney General Jeff Sessions, he wrote, “Good job Jeff.”

Sessions has said his department won’t be “improperly influenced by political considerations.”

Flake has criticized Trump repeatedly for his conduct and is not seeking re-election.


12:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump has tweeted that federal indictments against two Republican congressmen placed the GOP in midterm election jeopardy.

In a tweet Monday, Trump again attacked Attorney General Jeff Sessions while suggesting that the Justice Department consider politics when making decisions.

The president cited what he called “Obama era investigations” just before midterm elections and that “two easy wins now in doubt.” He added, “Good job Jeff.”

Trump has frequently suggested he views the Justice Department less as a law enforcement agency and more as a department that is supposed to do his personal and political bidding.

Indicted separately last month were congressman Duncan Hunter of California on charges that included spending campaign funds for personal expenses and congressman Chris Collins of New York on insider trading.

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