This column by ACRU Senior Fellow and Policy Board member J. Kenneth Blackwell was published August 4, 2017 by USA Today.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions showed today why he’s one of the best leaders President Trump has selected to move our country forward; no one doubts after today that he will bring to justice those who have put our national security at risk with unauthorized leaks of classified information. Already four people have been charged and there are numerous criminal referrals.
This comes on the heels of the news earlier this week that his job is safe, per new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. Sticking with Sessions is, and will prove to be, the right move by President Trump.
Sessions is already returning stature and respect to the Department of Justice after the stench left there by President Barack Obama’s former attorneys general Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch. Under the previous administration, the Justice Department created a rift with local law enforcement. That’s why law enforcement organization and agencies were so eager to endorse Sessions’ confirmation.
The Obama administration’s unconstitutional decrees — such as giving “executive amnesty” to illegal immigrants — made not enforcing the law a higher priority than prosecuting drug crimes in the midst of an opioid epidemic, cracking down on gangs which have terrorized communities across the country, and prosecuting gun crimes. Sessions has been a breath of fresh air, reversing these troubling trends by prioritizing the rule of law and the safety of citizens.
Perhaps more than anyone in the Trump administration, except for the president and vice president themselves, he has shown the American people that someone in Washington has heard the message they delivered with their votes last fall. Under President Trump’s leadership, Sessions’ actions along with the leadership of Gen. Kelly have already had an impact on the southern border. Within just a few months of taking office, apprehensions of people illegally crossing the border dropped to a 17-year low.
Sessions means business about cutting off taxpayer money from going to sanctuary cities. Headlines in just the past couple of weeks underscore the public’s concern about the warped, politically correct policies of protecting illegal immigrants, even though they’ve committed violent crimes.
Just last week, Sergio Jose Martinez was arrested after allegedly sexually assaulting a 65-year-old woman in the sanctuary city of Portland, Oregon. According to authorities, he had at least five probation violations for re-entering the United States and had been deported 20 times. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency asked local authorities to notify them before releasing Martinez, so he could be taken into custody — that request came last December but he was released and ICE was never notified. He’s now back in local custody again on a sexual assault charge.
Sessions means business about cracking down on gangs such as MS-13, which have brutally savaged communities across America. He pledged to wipe out the gang back in April and three months later was in El Salvador meeting with that country’s Attorney General, Douglas Melendez, to discuss cooperative efforts to do so.
Sessions means business on drugs. Just this week he announced the Department of Justice will send a dozen federal prosecutors to cities plagued by the opioid epidemic. He didn’t make this announcement in Washington, he did it in an Ohio community that has been deeply affected.
Sessions means business on guns. Since a Sessions directive three months ago urging federal prosecutors to focus on gun crimes, prosecutions have risen 23%.
Likewise, the Attorney General showed today he means business about the leaking of classified information. He won’t rest until the perpetrators are brought to justice. President Trump is right to stick with Jeff Sessions.