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Theft by government: Attorney General Jeff Sessions today told a gathering of district attorneys that the Trump administration intends to increase the use of asset forfeiture, the procedure where the government steals private property merely because it suspects it might have been related to a criminal act, even if the owners are completely innocent.
Although the details have yet to be released, Sessions’ directive appears likely to loosen the restrictions on “adoptions” of forfeiture cases by the federal government—an alarming prospect for opponents of asset forfeiture. “Reversing the ban on adoptive seizures would revive one of the most notorious forms of forfeiture abuse,” Sheth said. “So-called ‘adoptive’ seizures allow state and local law enforcement to circumvent state-law limitations on civil forfeiture by seizing property and then transferring it to federal prosecutors for forfeiture under federal law. Bringing back adoptive seizures would create a road map to circumvent state-level forfeiture reforms.”
Sessions’ upcoming directive to increase asset forfeiture comes as little surprise. Sessions, a former prosecutor and U.S. senator, has been a stalwart defender of asset forfeiture throughout his career. He has already dismantled Obama-era directives on drug sentencing guidelines and ordered a review of all of the existing consent agreements between the Justice Department and police departments that were found to be violating residents’ constitutional rights.
This is only more evidence that both parties in Washington are corrupt power-grabbers who don’t give a damn about the Constitution and the real rule of law. Sessions might be good in some areas, but in others he is as bad as Eric Holder.