- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The formal complaint filed against Attorney General Jeff Sessions by 600 members of the United Methodist Church community was dismissed, a Department of Justice spokesman informed The Washington Times Wednesday.

In a letter provided to The Times by the DOJ, one of the leaders in Mr. Sessions’ church District Superintendent Rev. Dr. Debora Bishop revealed that the complaint could not stand because it addressed political actions.

In the letter dated July 30, Ms. Bishop explained that the United Methodist Church can only use their judicial processes to govern personal conduct. A person acting in their capacity as a government employee carrying out policy is considered to be taking political actions rather than personal.

“In this matter, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was carrying out the official policy of the President and/or the United States Department of Justice,” Ms. Bishop wrote. “It was not an individual act. I believe this type of conduct is not covered by the chargeable offense provisions of The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2016 for laypersons.”

She noted that Bishop David Graves and the Cabinet of the Alabama-West Florida Conference were in agreement.

The notification came about a month after 600 members of Mr. Sessions’ church filed the original complaint in June. They accused the attorney general of child abuse, immorality, racial discrimination and “dissemination of doctrines contrary to the standards of doctrine of the United Methodist Church.”

Many of the complaints centered on Mr. Sessions’ work enforcing administration policy on immigration, especially the zero-tolerance policy that resulted in hundreds of immigrant families being separated at the border. The letter also cited his actions toward police investigations and the Black Lives Matter activist group.

“As his denomination, we have an ethical obligation to speak boldly when one of our members is engaged in causing significant harm in matters contrary to the Discipline on the global stage,” the complaint read.


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