Jeff Sessions

Updated at 5:37 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions answered needling by President Trump on Thursday with a vow that as long as he runs the Justice Department, it won't be swayed by politics.

Sessions' statement was a rare broadside in response to TV and Twitter criticism by Trump of the department, which he and supporters accuse of perpetuating a "witch hunt" in the Russia investigation and going soft on Democrats.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday ordered federal prosecutors on the southwest border to adopt a “zero tolerance” policy against anyone who enters or attempts to enter the country illegally, a mandate he said “supersedes” any prior directives.

Youtube via PBS News Hour

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is headed back to Capitol Hill today to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.

Austin Price for KUT

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday commended Texas lawmakers for taking a "leadership role" in fighting jurisdictions that oppose President Donald Trump's immigration policies.

Screenshot via PBS NewsHour

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is on Capitol Hill this morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He's expected to brief lawmakers on Justice Department efforts to crackdown on immigration and so-called sanctuary cities.

But the committee's nine Democratic senators have made it clear they intend to question their former colleague's involvement in the 2016 presidential campaign – and whether he had any contact with Russian officials. 

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Friday that the Department of Justice would be cracking down on what he calls the "culture of leaking" that has besieged the Trump administration.

 


Updated 2 p.m.

A day late, the Justice Department complied this morning with a federal court order and released part of a security clearance form dealing with Attorney General Jeff Sessions' contacts with foreign governments.

On June 12, a judge had ordered the agency to provide the information within 30 days, a deadline that passed on Wednesday.

In a filing Thursday morning with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Justice Department released that part of Sessions' form which poses the question:

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

People in Texas and around the nation are waiting to hear from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is scheduled to testify Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The committee, which is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, is expected to ask him about his meetings with Russian officials. Sessions asked that the hearing be open to the public.

Updated at 10:00 p.m. ET Thursday with Trump tweets

President Trump tweeted a defense of Attorney General Jeff Sessions Thursday night, saying Sessions could have testified more accurately about his 2016 contacts with the Russian ambassador, but that any discrepancy was not intentional.

Trump tweeted that the Democrats were creating a "witch hunt" to save face for having lost the presidential election.

Rogi.Official/Wikimedia Commons

From Texas Standard:

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) confirmed Monday that it no longer intends to argue Texas' voter ID law intentionally discriminates against minorities. The DOJ had opposed the law on those grounds during the Obama administration.

Alex Brandon / AP

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump's pick for attorney general, will face the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and Wednesday for his confirmation hearing. Sessions, a Republican who has served in Congress for two decades, has had his nomination protested for his record on civil rights, voting rights and criminal justice. A key controversy: In 1986, the Judiciary Committee rejected Sessions' nomination to be a federal judge.