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September 11, 2018

I do not think Prez Trump meant this tweet as a compliment to the Attorneys General, but it kinda is

President Donald Trump was tweeting up a storm yet again this morning, and this particular tweet struck me as especially ironic (and thus blogworthy):

The irony, of course, is that Prez Trump obviously means this tweet to be a criticism of current Attorney General Jeff Sessions (and likely also of former Attorney General Eric Holder).  And yet, as is so often heard from Attorneys General and others in the Justice Department, a commitment to the rule of law should often mean that the Department of Justice is to operate largely the same way no matter which person or party is formally at the helm.  In other words, from a different speaker at a different time, this statement really could be an extraordinary compliment to officials within the Justice Department.

Of course, as sentencing fans know, it is not actually accurate at all that the Justice Department is being run now just like it was run under former AG Holder.  Current AG Sessions was fairly quick to rescind any number of Holder-era guidance memos and policies on topics ranging from private prisons to charging and sentencing directions to marijuana enforcement.  And, of course, AG Sessions is reportedly trying to prevent significant sentencing and prison reforms in Congress, while former AG Holder supported various reforms (though not sufficiently, in my view). 

So, like so much this current Prez says, this tweet is wrong is more ways that the Prez even realizes. 

September 11, 2018 at 10:28 AM | Permalink



I am sure you are all good with this, Doug.

Posted by: federalist | Sep 13, 2018 7:47:25 AM

Not sure why you think I would be "all good" with any rank political biases, federalist, since I try to highlight and criticize yours when appropriate. I am "all good" with members of Congress and others seeking a lot more transparency and accountability from federal law enforcement and prosecutors. I have long been deeply troubled by what goes unseen and unjustified behind the closed doors in the Department of Justice, and this is one big reason I am generally opposed to all mandatory minimum sentencing provisions. We can see and criticize the sentencing (and other) work of judges because it happens in open court, but it is so very hard to see and criticize the work of prosecutors because it happens in secret.

I sincerely hope, federalist, that is you and others draw some broader lessons from whatever biases you now think infect the FBI and the DOJ. I fear you won't, but I will be "all good" if you do and start advocating for legal reforms --- like the repeal of mandatory minimums --- that increase prosecutorial powers and that demand a lot more transparency and accountability from federal law enforcement and prosecutors.

Posted by: Doug B | Sep 13, 2018 9:26:02 AM

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