Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday warned the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to not approve a draft criminal sentencing reform bill that he claims would reduce sentences for “a highly dangerous cohort of criminals.”
In a letter seen by Reuters, Sessions told Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman and fellow Republican Charles Grassley that he feared passage of the legislation would be “a grave error.”
Grassley’s committee is slated to make edits to the draft bill at a hearing on Thursday, before it can be sent to the full Senate for a possible vote.
The bill, unveiled by a bipartisan group of lawmakers last fall, aims to lessen prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders and it would also do away with the three-strike mandatory life provision.
It would also give judges more discretion in how they sentence non-violent offenders.
At the same time, it would toughen sentencing in some cases by adding mandatory minimums for crimes such as interstate domestic violence and trafficking in fentanyl-laced heroin.
Sessions’ opposition to the draft bill comes as no surprise.
During his time in the Senate, he helped to kill a similar bill that was backed by many of his Republican and Democratic colleagues on the Judiciary Committee.
Since becoming attorney general a little more than a year ago, Sessions has made combating violent crime, illegal immigration and drug offenses his priority.
Last year, he issued a memorandum to all U.S. Attorneys’ offices instructing them to charge people with the highest provable offense – a move that is designed to trigger mandatory minimum sentences under laws passed in the 1980s and 1990s that critics say can wrongfully criminalize drug addicts and disproportionately affect minority communities.
He also has blamed marijuana for directly helping fuel the ongoing opioid epidemic, and earlier this year he revoked Obama-era guidance that urged federal prosecutors not to prioritize marijuana cases in states where it is legal.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Andrew Hay and Lisa Shumaker)
Trump’s Georgia rally will be a ‘grievance-fest’ and he’ll ignore the GOP’s Senate candidates: Republican insiders
According to a report from the Independent, Georgia Republicans are nervously eyeing Donald Trump's planned rally in their state late Saturday having no idea whether he will lend them a hand holding onto the two seats in the U.S. Senate or whether he will spend the time ranting about the election he believes was stolen from him.
With both Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler's seats at stake -- as well as control of the U.S. Senate -- Republicans have been working overtime to correct the impression that voter fraud led to the state's 16 Electoral College votes going to former Vice President Joe Biden and cost Trump a second term.
CNBC’s Rick Santelli ripped as ‘psychopath’ for on-air ‘meltdown’ over COVID-19 restrictions
CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin and Rick Santelli clashed over coronavirus restrictions, setting off another round of discussion on social media.
The conservative Santelli loudly insisted that bars and restaurants, which are shut down in many areas, were no more dangerous than large retailers, which have mostly been allowed to stay open, and Sorkin cut him off.
“Rick, just as a public-health and public-service announcement for the audience, the difference between a big-box retailer and a restaurant or, frankly, even a church, are so different it’s unbelievable,” Sorkin said, as Santelli kept interrupting. “Going into a big-box retailer, you’re wearing a mask.”
Federal judge says Trump pardon of Michael Flynn may have been ‘too broad’: report
A trial judge has raised the possibility that the federal judge overseeing the case of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn could find that President Trump's pardon of Flynn may be "too broad," according to The National Law Journal.
The comments “came unexpectedly” during a Freedom of Information Act hearing about releasing documents from special counsel Robert Mueller's office, according to BuzzFeed reporter Jason Leopold.