Bush DOJ Lawyer Lays Into Sessions for Being 'Missing in Action' Amid Trump's FBI Attacks

As President Donald Trump and many of his Republican supporters continue to attack the Justice Department, the attorney general is nowhere to be found — and his lack of response is hurting agency morale.


Jack L. Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor and former DOJ counsel under President George W. Bush, told The New York Times that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should be leading the charge to defend the FBI amid GOP allegations of corruption.

“What is unusual is the [FBI] and the Justice Department being attacked, the president leading the charge and the attorney general missing in action,” Goldsmith said. “Why isn’t he sticking up for the department?”

Former and current prosecutors told the Times that Sessions’ “tepid response reflects efforts to appease” Trump at the expense of the department’s resolve.

After the Trump declassified the House GOP’s controversial memo alleging abuse within the DOJ and FBI, Sessions circulated a statement to its employees saying that although he has “great confidence in the men and women of this department,” nonetheless “no department is perfect.”

Current DOJ prosecutors told the Times on condition of anonymity that despite the attorney general’s morale-breaking silence, “they remain optimistic that the institution can withstand political attacks, with or without Mr. Sessions’s public support,” particularly in light of a stronger statement by FBI Director Christopher Wray.

“I am determined to defend your integrity and professionalism every day,” the bureau’s director told employees in his own statement. “Talk is cheap; the work you do is what will endure.”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.