Jeff Sessions Deletes ‘Need For Free Press’ From Manual For Federal Prosecutors

Does the Trump Administration support a free press? If The Donald’s repeated attacks on the media every single time they call him out on his lies and his Hitlerian “FAKE NEWS” (Hitler preferred the German term Lügenpresse, of course) narrative weren’t enough to convince you, let’s take a look at what Jeff Sessions’ DOJ just did.

Buzzfeed reports that Sessions’ DOJ has added some stuff to its manual for federal prosecutors and removed some pretty important things as well.

“The changes include new sections that underscore Sessions’ focus on religious liberty and the Trump administration’s efforts to crack down on government leaks — there is new language admonishing prosecutors not to share classified information and directing them to report contacts with the media,” the publication reports.

BUT it’s not all about preventing people from leaking information the Trump administration doesn’t want to get out to the public. The changes also make it clear to the rest of us that the First Amendment really is at risk under The Donald’s rule:

The media contacts policy was updated in the manual in November. A subsection titled “Need for Free Press and Public Trial” was removed entirely. That section, which was included in versions of the manual at least as far back as 1988, according to DOJ archives, read as follows:

“Likewise, careful weight must be given in each case to the constitutional requirements of a free press and public trials as well as the right of the people in a constitutional democracy to have access to information about the conduct of law enforcement officers, prosecutors and courts, consistent with the individual rights of the accused. Further, recognition should be given to the needs of public safety, the apprehension of fugitives, and the rights of the public to be informed on matters that can affect enactment or enforcement of public laws or the development or change of public policy.”

Sessions’ DOJ also added sections that mention that it’s illegal to share classified information with someone who isn’t authorized to receive it and another requires employees to report  “any contact with a member of the media about a DOJ matter.”

Those additions aren’t new information, but when considered along with the removal of the section about the “need for free press,” the Trump administration’s agenda is pretty clear.

In addition, Sessions has nixed a section on racial gerrymandering that had read:

“The Voting Section defends from unjustified attack redistricting plans designed to provide minority voters fair opportunities to elect candidates of their choice and endeavors to achieve racially fair results where courts find…that redistricting plans constitute unconstitutional racial gerrymanders.”

Our country is in peril, and since Republicans won’t step up to do something about it, it’s up to us this November to replace them with people who will.