GOP Senator flames Attorney General Jeff Sessions as fight for overhauling drug sentences continues
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions inserted himself into the Senate’s affairs this week, sending Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley a letter calling The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act “a grave error” that would “reduce sentences for a highly dangerous cohort of criminals.” The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 16-5 to advance the bill that would ease mandatory minimum sentences for some drug criminals.
Grassley’s response was not gracious or kind. It was the kind of response that inspires flame emojis, were this battleground a social media affair:
We value input from DOJ, but if General Sessions wanted to be involved in marking up this legislation, maybe he should have quit his job as was talked about last November and run for the Republican Senate seat, now held by a Democrat, from Alabama.
It should be noted here that Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, helped guide Sessions through the nomination process, and defended the embattled U.S. AG when President/Emperor with no clothes Trump wanted to fire him last year.
Even though Sessions correctly pointed out the nation’s opioid and prescription drug crisis last week, pushing against bills that reform the sentencing process for those who would otherwise serve unfair prison terms effectively positions this as yet another example where the Trump administration says one thing and does another. This is much like Trump’s choice to end an Obama-era program that makes it harder for mentally ill people to have access to guns, which he didn’t mention in his response to the school shooting in Florida on Valentine’s Day.
As Kara Gotsch, director of strategic initiatives at The Sentencing Project points out, “Excessive sentences for drug offenses have never curbed drug epidemics, but instead have diverted needed resources from prevention to incarceration.”