After a week of torment for Attorney General Jeff Sessions that culminated in President Trump’s Tuesday morning twitter rant, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) gave his opinion on the attorney general during an interview on “Fox & Friends.”
While also critical of Sessions, Paul spoke from a slightly different place. He was far from concerned with Sessions’ record on Clinton or his actions during the Russia investigation, but instead had qualms with the AG over an issue that has been one of his pet projects for a long time: civil forfeiture.
“I have my own concerns with Attorney General Sessions,” he said. “I’m very much offended by the fact that he is now promoting a policy of going after poor people’s property, taking it without a conviction.”
Civil forfeiture is an ongoing issue plaguing the United States legal system, whereby police officers can confiscate property from individuals suspected of wrongdoing without having been convicted. In these instances, law enforcement officials claim that the property itself is a crime, even if the individuals in possession of it have yet to receive a fair trial.
The most controversial property taken is money, which officers often confiscate with the justification that it was obtained illegally, through drug dealing, for example. Paul is critical of how that money is then spent.
“This is called civil asset forfeiture. They take it and they have an incentive to take it, and they can use the money to buy new TVs and cars for the local police force,” Paul continued.
Thus, Sessions appears to have few friends left in Washington.
“You should be innocent until proven guilty in the United States,” Paul concluded. “This really is offensive to a lot of us who have been trying to reform the situation,” which is when “poor people’s money is taken from them without a trial.”
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