South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy delivered an impassioned speech on the meaning of “justice” at the Jeff Sessions hearing that had the effect of being accusatory in its implications.
Gowdy railed against the Obama administration’s political usage of the DOJ and called on Sessions to restore the American people’s trust in the department.
“I want to start with something that’s very important to me,” Gowdy began, “and I think it’s important to all people in this country of good conscience, irrespective of their political ideation, and that’s the independence of the Department of Justice. In my judgment, 2016 and 2017 have been challenging years for the Department of Justice.”
Gowdy then went into the various legal procedures for charging citizens, including political players like Hillary Clinton and former FBI director James Comey.
“Mr. Conyers asked you whether or not it was appropriate for the president to weigh in on an ongoing investigation,” Gowdy said. “And of course, the answer to that is ‘no.’ It is not appropriate. It’s not appropriate in 2017. It wasn’t appropriate when President Obama did it in the IRS targeting scandal. It wasn’t appropriate when President Obama did it in the ongoing investigation into Hillary Clinton’s server. It is never appropriate for a president to tell a Department of Justice what outcome it would reach. I just wish my friends on the other side of the aisle would have the same kind of outrage when President Obama did it as they do now.”
Then Gowdy asked a “last question.”
“How do you restore people’s trust — Republicans and Democrats — confidence in a Department of Justice when it seems like different rules apply depending on who’s in power?” he asked.
Attorney General Sessions gave a direct answer.
“Well, it’s a good question and important question,” Sessions responded. “We intend to do our work, according to the established principles of the Department of Justice. We will not be infected by politics or bias. We will only make decisions we believe are right and just. We’re not going to unlawfully use the department to advance a political agenda… I am determined that when the years go by, that people will say this Department of Justice did not crumble.”
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