“Our justice system is under attack,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, on Tuesday.
Sen. Dick Durbin, the second ranking Democrat in the Senate, called Trump’s actions, including firing former FBI Director James Comey and his tweets that criticized Sessions, “unprecedented in American history.”
“This President, by his tweets, has virtually no respect for the rule of law,” Durbin said.
Last month, Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, and New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins were indicted in a matter of just two weeks — both politicians were two of Trump’s earliest supporters in Congress. Both lawmakers have pleaded not guilty.
“Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good Job Jeff,” his tweet continued.
Sen. Mazie Hirono said she didn’t think Trump understood the separation of powers.
“He thinks the attorney general works for him,” the Democratic senator from Hawaii said. “He thinks the entire federal government works for him at his beck and call.”
Democratic Sen. Pat Leahy of Vermont compared Trump’s comment to North Korea, and noted his previous experience as a prosecutor.
“Only in — in North Korea the leader may say you may prosecute this person not this person. For the president of the United States to say, ‘don’t prosecute Republicans, only prosecute democrats,’ – I was a prosecutor for eight years. Made my blood boil.” Leahy said.
Sessions, due to his role on the Trump campaign, recused himself from partaking in any investigations regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election, following his failure to disclose his own contact with the Russian ambassador while being confirmed by the Senate.
Blumenthal said that Trump seemed to be “deliberately trying to obstruct justice.”
“So the justice system is under attack, and I’ll be looking forward to statements from this nominee as a court of appeals judge, let alone nominee of the United States Supreme Court,” he added shortly before confirmation hearings were set to begin for Kavanaugh.
Republican lawmakers have largely been silent or declined to weigh in on Trump’s tweet.
“I don’t speak for the President,” Sen. John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican, said Tuesday on CNN’s “New Day.” “He’s entitled to his opinion, and maybe he thinks the policy ought to change. I haven’t talked to him about it. I just know that I think it’s important to have a consistent policy.”
However, Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse, a frequent Trump critic, strongly defended the Justice Department in a statement Monday evening.
“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,” Sasse said, adding later, “These two men have been charged with crimes because of evidence, not because of who the President was when the investigations began. Instead of commenting on ongoing investigations and prosecutions, the job of the President of the United States is to defend the Constitution and protect the impartial administration of justice.”
CNN’s Lauren Fox, Sunlen Serfaty, Daniella Diaz, Kristin Wilson, Kaitlan Collins and Clare Foran contributed to this report.