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New York — In response to reports that President Trump has asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign, American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony D. Romero issued the following statement:
Jeff Sessions was the worst attorney general in modern American history. He was an egregious violator of civil rights and civil liberties. From his plot to deport Dreamers, remove police and law enforcement accountability, discriminate against trans people, perpetuate and expand senseless enforcement of racist drug laws, use of religion to discriminate against LGBTQ people and undermine reproductive rights, abandon protections for women against violence, and even lie to the Senate to cover up Trump campaign contact with Russian officials, his tenure as the highest chief law enforcement officer was a complete disgrace to our nation’s constitutional protections. Sessions allowed the Department of Justice to function as the political arm of the Trump administration to undo fundamental rights that protect each of us, disregarding years of legal precedent and settled law.
The dismissal of the nation’s top law enforcement official is a huge step, one that should not be based on political motives — and certainly should not be done to protect the president or his cronies from the law. While the Constitution grants the president the authority to dismiss his cabinet members, we will be keeping a close watch on the future of the special counsel’s investigation and the impact of the appointment of a new attorney general. The Senate must demand that any nominee for attorney general must commit to not interfere in the special counsel investigation, and continue to have Robert Mueller operate under the special counsel regulation.
For the first time in the organization’s history, the ACLU filed a bar complaint against an attorney general for unethical conduct. More information on that is available here.