Trump says Sessions has placed GOP in midterm jeopardy

Donald Trump let loose on his attorney general for charges the Department of Justice brought against two sitting Republican members in recent days complaining that the indictments handicapped the incumbents and jeopardized the GOP's standing in the Hous

Showing his disregard for the Justice Department's independence, President Donald Trump tweeted that federal indictments against two Republican congressmen placed the GOP in midterm election jeopardy.

Trump did not address the charges themselves or name the congressmen, but the tweet was apparently referring to the indictments this summer of Representatives Chris Collins of NY and Duncan D. Hunter of California, the president's two earliest congressional endorsers.

Democratic members of Congress are warning that the Justice Department is being targeted by President Donald Trump's tweet politicizing two investigations into GOP House members by the Justice Department, where Attorney General Jeff Sessions remains at the helm.

Critics view Trump's disparaging remarks about Sessions for his department's indictments of two Republican lawmakers as an example of how much Trump misunderstands the president's authority and obligations under the USA constitutional system.

Some Democrats have spoken out loudly about Trump's shaming of Sessions. One is accused of insider trading and the other of campaign violations. Both have proclaimed their innocence, but Collins has dropped out of his race.

The Justice Department says it's convening a meeting later this month to discuss concerns that social media companies may be hurting competition and "intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas on their platforms".

The latest presidential criticism of Mr Sessions with just over two months to go before the midterm elections.

According to a 2016 Justice Department memorandum by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch that CNN cited, prosecutors "may never select the timing of investigative steps or criminal charges for the objective of affecting any election, or for the goal of giving an advantage or disadvantage to any candidate or political party".

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Republican Senator Ben Sasse said the justice department should remain politically neutral in deciding whether or not to prosecute.

Trump has previously pressed Sessions to investigate his perceived enemies and has accused Sessions of failing to take control of the Justice Department. Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins and that the Republicans were being unfairly targeted by Justice.

But after taking a look around - and possibly noting the swamp-like heat and humidity engulfing the capital - he strolled back inside the White House at 10:42.

FILE - Attorney General Jeff Sessions reads from a statute about his recusal while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 13, 2017, before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

Trump pointed to the popularity of the two men who faced an easy re-election before being indicted. Trump has for months lashed out at Sessions because he recused himself from overseeing the Russian Federation probe since the former senator served as a top surrogate for the Trump campaign in 2016.

That has left the attorney general's position seeming tenuous at best, though Trump recently told Bloomberg News that Sessions was safe, at least until after the November mid-term elections.

Former Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara called Trump's tweet "next level insane, inappropriate, unethical, stupid, incriminating".

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said the tweet indicated Trump and Sessions "do not have a healthy relationship".

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