In the meantime, Sessions is doing exactly the wrong thing by doubling down on asset seizure. The message it sends is that the feds see the rest of us as prey, not as citizens. The attorney general should be ashamed to take that position. And, really, he should just be gone.
This is a horrible expansion of an unconstitutional and abusive practice.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions signed an order on Wednesday reversing the Obama administration’s limits on civil asset forfeiture, a widely criticized practice in which law enforcement officers seize cash and property from citizens who have not been charged with crimes.
The policy change comes as a number of states — both red and blue — have clamped down on civil forfeiture abuses, and it will allow local police departments to circumvent state laws that restrict the practice.
In the last three years, 24 states have comprehensively reformed their forfeiture laws, according to Sheth. As of July 10, when Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy signed H.B. 8146, 14 states require a criminal conviction before seized assets can be legally forfeited to authorities (if no conviction results, the assets must be returned to their owner).
Several states have other types of restrictions — some ban the use of forfeited assets for law enforcement services and reroute the money to other public services, thereby eliminating the profit motive some say leads to abuse of the practice. (For a specific list of individual state policies, visit the Institute of Justice’s interactive map.)
But Sessions’ order gives officers a way to bypass state restrictions.
It revives a program called Equitable Sharing or “adoptive forfeiture,” which allows local law enforcement to process forfeiture cases under federal statute and “share” the assets with federal authorities. In practice, the federal government sends up to 80 percent of the assets right back to local departments, effectively allowing them to get around stricter state laws, says Rulli. Eric Holder, Obama’s attorney general, eliminated adoptive forfeiture except in rare cases.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has agreed to appear before the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday as it investigates alleged Russian meddling in the presidential election.
In a letter Saturday to Sen. Richard Shelby, Sessions writes that his decision to appear comes in light of last week’s testimony by fired FBI Director James Comey.
Sessions had been scheduled to discuss the Justice Department budget before a Senate panel chaired by Shelby.
My guess is that he has some light to shed on Comey’s statements.
Yet another story from unnamed sources. Is it true? Who knows. So much of the media has become little more than gossip rags.
As the White House braces for former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony Thursday, sources tell ABC News the relationship between President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has become so tense that Sessions at one point recently even suggested he could resign.