Originally Published in Salon
Igor Derysh - October 7, 2020
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, were a "driving force" behind the Trump administration's child separation policy despite repeated denials, according to a draft Department of Justice inspector general report obtained by The New York Times.
Trump administration officials have repeatedly denied that there was any policy of separating families at the border, and Sessions claimed in 2018 that the administration "never really intended to do that."But an investigation by Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that Sessions and Rosenstein directly ordered prosecutors to separate children from their families — no matter how young they were.
"We need to take away children," Sessions told five U.S. attorneys in 2018 after they expressed they were "deeply concerned" about the welfare of the children, according to participants' notes. If the parents "care about" their kids, "don't bring them in," Sessions went on to say, according to the report.
Rosenstein went even further a week later, telling the same prosecutors that "it did not matter how young the children were" after prosecutors declined to prosecute two cases "simply because the children were barely more than infants," according to The Times.
Texas U.S. Attorney John Bash, who declined to bring the cases before he was "overruled" by Rosenstein, told staff after the call that "those two cases should not have been declined."