Sessions announces watchdog for DOJ asset forfeiture program
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Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsPress: For Trump endorsement: The more sordid, the better Those predicting Facebook's demise are blowing smoke If bitcoin is 'digital gold,' it should be taxed like gold MORE called for the hiring of a new watchdog for the Justice Department's civil asset forfeiture program in a memo on Tuesday.

Sessions instructed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to hire a director of asset forfeiture accountability, who will oversee the program.  


"I make this decision today because I believe it is important to have senior-level accountability in the Department of the day-to-day workings of the asset forfeiture program, as well as authority to coordinate with relevant components to make the necessary changes to the program to ensure it continues to operate in an accountable and responsible way," Sessions said in his statement.

The department reactivated a new forfeiture policy in July under Sessions, which was previously discontinued under the Obama administration. The policy allows law enforcement officials to seize money and property suspected with probable cause of being involved in a crime, without charging people of a specific crime.

“As our law enforcement partners will tell you and as President Trump knows well, asset forfeiture is a key tool that helps law enforcement defund organized crime, take back ill-gotten gains, and prevent new crimes from being committed, and it weakens the criminals and the cartels," Sessions said in the statement

"Even more importantly, it helps return property to the victims of crime," Sessions added.  

The new position will be housed under the deputy attorney general's office, where it will ensure compliance with the forfeiture policy, which applies to local, state and federal law enforcement. 

Sessions previously said the new policy would work toward President Trump's goal of enforcing law and order under his presidency. Critics of the policy, including GOP lawmakers, have decried the policy as an infringement on people's Constitutional right to due process under the law.