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During a White House listening session with law enforcement, Rockwall County Sheriff Harold Eavenson brought up a state senator who introduced a bill requiring that a suspect get convicted before their assets can be seized. Efforts to stop the practice of seizing assets before conviction have received bipartisan support in the state.
Trump responded by asking for the senator's name.
"Who is the state senator? Do you want to give his name? We'll destroy his career," Trump said, prompting laughter among those gathered at the meeting.
Eavenson did not give the lawmaker's name. It was not immediately clear to whom he referred.
Republican Texas Sen. Konni Burton and Democratic Sen. Juan Hinojosa have pushed for the asset forfeiture changes, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Law enforcement officials have largely been supportive of Trump and his pledges to empower police.The White House did not immediately respond to a request to comment on this story.
Feb 8 17 8:38 PM
Feb 9 17 1:21 AM
Trump has said in the past he would defer to states on marijuana legalization, and has not addressed the issue since he was elected last November.
But Sessions, asked about marijuana policy at a Senate confirmation hearing last month, said that if Congress no longer wanted to criminalize marijuana, it "should pass a law that changes the rules."
"It’s not so much the attorney general’s job to decide what laws to enforce. We should do our job and enforce laws effectively as we are able," Sessions said.
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Attorney General Jeff Sessions has vowed to crack down on marijuana and has dismissed arguments for its medical use as “desperate.”
“I reject the idea that we’re going to be better placed if we have more marijuana,” Sessions said in a speech to law-enforcement officials in March. “It’s not a healthy substance, particularly for young people.”
May 20 17 9:23 AM
Sessions said the new directive is both necessary for public safety and the “right and moral thing to do,” citing upticks in violence in some American cities and surges in drug-overdose deaths. “If you are a drug trafficker, we will not look the other way. We will not be willfully blindto your conduct,” Sessions said. “These are not low-level offenders. These are drug dealers, and you drug dealers are going to prison.”
The rigid stance is at odds with the broader political consensus that has emerged in recent years. With research showing that mandatory-minimum sentences and other methods used in the war on drugs tended to disproportionately punish people of color and increase prison populations without reducing crime, officials across the nation have adopted less stringent approaches to drug offenders. Their efforts have been encouraged by a once unlikely criminal-justice-reform coalition led by conservative donors Charles and David Koch and the liberal-leaning American Civil Liberties Union. In a rare act of Washington cooperation, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have been working on federal sentencing legislation that would reflect the emphasis on treatment over incarceration.
Many of these supporters have been strongly critical of Sessions’ memo. “We should be treating our nation’s drug epidemic for what it is: a public-health crisis, not an excuse to send people to prison and turn a mistake into a tragedy,” Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky wrote in an op-ed for CNN. A Republican colleague, Utah Senator Mike Lee, said, “To be tough on crime, we have to be smart on crime,” in a tweet criticizing the policy.
With Sessions’ memo in effect immediately, the debate over criminal justice will return to Congress. Last year, when he was still a Senator from Alabama, Sessions helped block a sentencing-reform measure. As Attorney General, he can order an about-face for the nation’s prosecutors—-but he can no longer bottle up a bill. Says Jason Pye, public-policy director for FreedomWorks, a Tea Party–aligned group that supports criminal-justice reform: “This is a moment for conservatives in Congress to step up.”
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