Jeff Sessions | KERA News

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.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited the Bible to explain why the Trump administration has launched a policy of separating families seeking illegal entry into the United States.

"I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order," Sessions said during a speech to law enforcement officers in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Updated at 11:19 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is imposing sharp new limits on who can get asylum in the United States, ruling in a closely watched case that most migrants fleeing domestic abuse or gang violence will not qualify.

"Asylum was never meant to alleviate all problems — even all serious problems — that people face every day all over the world," Sessions said Monday in a speech before immigration judges in Virginia.

Updated at 10:19 a.m. ET

President Trump resumed his attacks against Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday following reports that he had asked Sessions to un-recuse himself from the Russia investigation — and after more erosion of Trump's claim that the FBI spied on his campaign.

Trump used his Twitter account to echo the comments of House oversight committee chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who has been using TV appearances to try to offer some nuanced support to Trump.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday that the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security will partner to prosecute anyone illegally crossing the southwest border and separate children from parents.

The Trump administration has been trying to ramp up deportations of immigrants in the country illegally. But one thing has been standing in its way: Immigration judges often put these cases on hold.

Now Attorney General Jeff Sessions is considering overruling the judges.

One practice that is particularly infuriating to Sessions and other immigration hard-liners is called administrative closure. It allows judges to put deportation proceedings on hold indefinitely.

Updated at 12:30 a.m. ET Saturday

Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired outgoing FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Friday even though he was on the doorstep of retiring and receiving his pension after two decades of service to the bureau.

President Trump responded on Twitter just after midnight Saturday, calling McCabe's firing "a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI - A great day for Democracy."

One year ago this week, Jeff Sessions stood beaming in the Oval Office as he awaited his swearing-in as the 84th attorney general of the United States.

On that day last February, President Trump signed executive orders on violent crime and gangs, pledging that a "new era of justice begins." And, in the year that followed, Sessions has managed to transform the Justice Department, particularly in the areas of civil rights, immigration and drugs.

Updated at 2:17 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was interviewed last week by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Sessions is the first member of President Trump's Cabinet known to have been questioned by the special counsel's office in its investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior confirmed Sessions' interview to NPR on Tuesday. Sessions cooperated voluntarily.

Updated at 6:25 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday that his "story has never changed" about his and other Trump campaign officials' connections to Russia.

"I will not accept, and reject accusations that I have ever lied," Sessions said. "That is a lie!"

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:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday, fiercely maintaining he did nothing wrong in meeting twice with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during President Trump's 2016 campaign and also infuriating Democrats by refusing to detail any conversations he has had with the president.

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Tuesday afternoon.

He fielded questions about Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election, the ongoing investigation of Russian contacts with Trump campaign and administration officials, and the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey. 

The nation's top legal officer is set to go before Congress on Tuesday to try to defuse a bomb that the former FBI director dropped into his lap.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee less than one week after James Comey told the committee he could not discuss openly certain information about Sessions' recusal from the investigation into Russia's election meddling last year.

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, it will be in a hearing that is open to the public. A Justice Department spokeswoman tells NPR that Sessions requested it be public.

The hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. ET.

From Texas Standard:

On Monday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions criticized so-called "sanctuary cities" and threatened cuts in federal funding if local governments do not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requests to detain people in their jails who may be undocumented. In Austin, both the city and county government have resisted some federal hold requests, and Mayor Steve Adler says he’s looking for clarification as to the federal government’s intentions.

The Justice Department is following through on an executive order to withhold as much as $4.1 billion in federal grants from so-called "sanctuary cities," generally defined as places where local law enforcement limit their cooperation with federal authorities on immigration enforcement.

Updated at 4:56 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will recuse himself from any investigations into possible Russian involvement in the 2016 elections.

"Let me be clear: I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign," Sessions reiterated during an afternoon news conference in response to reports that he had met twice with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. last year.

"I should not be involved in investigating a campaign I had a role in," Sessions said.

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.

The action in the U.S. school system is overwhelmingly local. But the federal government, and the courts, have an important hand in many issues that touch classrooms — from civil rights to international programs of study. We looked at the records of some of President Trump's key appointees to see how they might affect education in the years to come.

Jeff Sessions, attorney general (confirmed)

The Senate has confirmed President Trump's nominee Jeff Sessions to be the next attorney general, bringing an end to a bitter confirmation fight that has dredged up past accusations of racism against the Alabama senator.

The vote was largely along party lines, 52-47, with only centrist Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia voting yes. Sessions himself voted "present" on his own nomination.

At more than eight hours long, the first day of Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing for attorney general was a marathon. The Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Sessions on a wide range of topics, including allegations of racism that have dogged the Alabama senator for years and his views on immigration as well as the government's use of torture.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

President-elect Donald Trump announced his selections today for three key posts: Michael Flynn for national security adviser, Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Rep. Mike Pompeo for CIA director.

Trump's selections signal that he is prioritizing loyalty as he chooses nominees for top posts — turning to people who were early and outspoken supporters of his campaign.