President Trump yesterday trashed his own attorney general for the prosecution of California Congressman Duncan Hunter and another Representative also closely aligned with him.
Referring to the federal indictments last month of Hunter and his wife for personal use of campaign funds and Congressman Chris Collins (R-NY) for insider trading, Trump screeched on Twitter that, “Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the midterm, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job, Jeff.”
In a follow-up tweet, the president wrote, “The Democrats, none of whom voted for Jeff Sessions, must love him now.”
Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff, who represents Burbank, responded on Twitter by blasting Trump for taking a stance that he believed reeked of fascistic tendencies. “The President doesn’t bother to disguise his authoritarian impulses or conviction that law enforcement should simply be an extension of political self-interest. The only question is whether Congressional Republicans will continue to look the other way.”
At least one of them didn’t.
In a statement responding to Trump’s tweets, Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) said that, “The United States is not some banana republic with a two-tiered system of justice — one for the majority party and one for the minority party. These two men have been charged with crimes because of evidence.”
Trump regularly slaps Sessions on Twitter and in conversations with aides that almost invariably become public–most recently his complaint that the former Alabama senator lacks an Ivy League degree and his Southern accent makes him sound like he has marbles in his mouth.
But this is the first time the President has commented on the indictment of Hunter, who has accused prosecutors of a political witch hunt because he is known as a strong Trump supporter. Hunter was the second congressman to endorse Trump for president; his fellow alleged criminal, Chris Collins, was the first.
Right after his August 21 indictment for the misappropriation of campaign funds for everything from an $14,000 Italian vacation to $600 in airfa
re for their pet rabbit, the San Diego Rep depicted the prosecution as a political witch hunt, saying, “This is modern politics and modern media mixed in with law enforcement that has a political agenda.”
He added, “This is the Democrats arm of law enforcement, that’s what’s happening right now. It’s happening with Trump, it’s happening with me.”
Alleging rank political bias, his campaign noted that two of the prosecutors on the case attended a private fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in 2015.
Meanwhile, it appears that Hunter is taking a hit among voters in his 50th congressional district. A poll conducted right after the indictment, between August 22 and August 26, found Hunter still leading his Democratic challenger Ammar Campa-Najjar by eight points among likely voters, 48% to 39%.
But a later poll done for Campa-Najjar’s campaign between August 27 and August 30, found the two candidates tied at 46% each.