Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday rejected the idea that President Trump has exerted political influence on his department, and defended Trump's right to "speak his mind" on issues of the day.
“I have not been improperly influenced," he told the House Judiciary Committee under questioning from Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich. Conyers listed out several tweets from Trump in which he wondered why his own government wasn't doing more to investigate possible improprieties by Democrats, including his 2016 rival Hillary Clinton.
But Sessions said that has not influenced the Justice Department.
"The president speaks his mind," Sessions said. "The people elected him, but we do our duty every day based on the law and facts."
Sessions did agree, however, that it would be improper for any president to use the Justice Department to retaliate against political opponents.
"That would be wrong," he said.
Conyers asked about Trump's tweets after it was revealed that Sessions is considering appointing a special counsel to investigate the Clinton Foundation. When Conyers asked if Trump should be making comments that would influence any pending investigations, Sessions said the president “cannot improperly influence an investigation."