The two-decade-long Alabama senator has been met with some very harsh criticism since the rise to prominence that went along with Trump’s presidential win — largely, claims that he is a racist. However, the new attorney general has not only refuted those claims himself, but so has his record.
But now, there’s talk of another potential investigation…
During an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Thursday, Sessions was asked if he’d consider appointing an outside party “not connected to politics” to investigate the Justice Department (DOJ).
For reference, the DOJ has prompted a lot of controversy as far as the right is concerned within the last administration.
For example, the way the DOJ handled Obama’s “Fast and Furious gunrunning program” — which was “a Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) ‘gunrunning’ operation in which the Obama administration allowed guns to be sold to Mexican drug cartels in the hope the weapons would be recovered at crime scenes.”
In addition, many believe the DOJ dropped the ball when it came to investigating the IRS’ “targeting” of conservative groups — specifically, when two-thirds of the total number of groups the IRS looked further into had conservative affiliations, according to NPR.
And again, the DOJ was subject to scrutiny after ruling that Hillary Clinton’s email scandal during the presidential election held no grounds for criminal charges, or any reprimand — a platform which Trump felt very strongly about during the campaign, but has since lost the conviction to pursue legal action.Image Credit: Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla
All of these instances led many people, including Hewitt, to label the Justice Department as “highly politicized” and perhaps not entirely unbiased throughout Obama’s administration. Hewitt asked Sessions if he’d consider an outside entity investigating the DOJ “just generally to look at how the Department of Justice operated.”
According to U.S. News, Sessions remained “noncommittal” on the idea, but assured him that he would make it his top priority to “restore the independence and professionalism of the Department of Justice.”
However, Session did say that in order to bring in a party “not connected to politics,” an internal review would need to be completed first:
“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.”
Although Sessions didn’t let on whether an internal review would be taking place, it’s clear that the DOJ is under intense monitoring as Trump’s administration transitions into office, which, perhaps, may soothe those put off by the DOJ in the first place.