- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 28, 2018

President Trump slammed his attorney general on Wednesday, calling his lack of action “disgraceful” regarding possible abuses in the surveillance system.

“Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!” Mr. Trump tweeted.

Mr. Sessions said Tuesday that his department’s inspector general is looking into whether the FBI properly handled the FISA warrants for members of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign, but Mr. Trump said action is not sufficient.

Mr. Sessions made the remarks at a news conference to announce a new opioid task force.

This is not the first time Mr. Trump has disparaged Mr. Sessions on social media. The friction began when Mr. Sessions recused himself from all matters relating to the Russia investigation, which is now being handled by special prosecutor Robert Mueller.

His recusal has continued to cause tensions within the administration.

The alleged abuses in the FISA warrant system came to light when Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a memo saying FBI agents did not tell the judge in the secret court system that the unverified dossier, which they claim was used to obtain the warrant, was politically funded. The warrant was obtained to collect information on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page for his ties to Russian and claims of possible collusion.

Democrats pushed back on this in their own memo arguing that the warrant was not entirely substantiated from the dossier and that the judge knew it had political ties. Some on the committee, however, acknowledged it’s unlikely the court knew it was funded by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

The memos on the surveillance warrant were both published against the wishes of the FBI, who said the documents could reveal sources and methods for obtaining the top-secret information. Mr. Trump approved the release of both memos, although he did have Democrats make edits to their original draft, saying it revealed classified information.

Mr. Sessions insisted he acted appropriately regarding the FISA court investigation and vowed to continue to perform the duties as he sees fit.

“We have initiated the appropriate process that will ensure complaints against this Department will be fully and fairly acted upon if necessary,” he said in a statement. “As long as I am the Attorney General, I will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor, and this Department will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and Constitution.”

S.A. Miller contributed to this article.


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