Ryan pushes back on Trump DOJ attack: 'Justice should be blind'

Ryan pushes back on Trump DOJ attack: 'Justice should be blind'
© Anna Moneymaker

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAt indoor rally, Pence says election runs through Wisconsin Juan Williams: Breaking down the debates Peterson faces fight of his career in deep-red Minnesota district MORE (R-Wis.) reaffirmed that the U.S. justice system “should be blind” on Wednesday, two days after President TrumpDonald John TrumpHR McMaster says president's policy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is 'unwise' Cast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response MORE lashed out at Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump's policies on refugees are as simple as ABCs Ocasio-Cortez, Velázquez call for convention to decide Puerto Rico status White House officials voted by show of hands on 2018 family separations: report MORE for prosecuting two of Trump’s early GOP supporters.

“Justice is blind. Justice should be blind and should have no [consideration] with respect to political party. That’s the emblem of the Justice Department: blind justice,” Ryan told reporters in his first news conference since the House’s summer recess.

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“So I think it’s very important that we respect the fact that justice should be blind. It should have no impact on political party and I think the process is working its way as it should.”

Ryan, however, did not utter Trump's name during his remarks.

Two of Ryan’s House GOP colleagues — Rep. Chris CollinsChristopher (Chris) Carl CollinsConspicuous by their absence from the Republican Convention NY Republican Chris Jacobs wins special election to replace Chris Collins 5 things to watch in Tuesday's primaries MORE of New York and Duncan HunterDuncan HunterDCCC reserves new ad buys in competitive districts, adds new members to 'Red to Blue' program Wife of former Rep. Duncan Hunter sentenced to 8 months of home confinement Harris endorses Democrat in tight California House race MORE of California — were indicted by the Justice Department over the August break. Collins, his son and others were charged with insider trading. Hunter and his wife were charged with misusing campaign funds and other crimes.

Collins and Hunter were the first members of Congress to endorse Trump in the 2016 GOP presidential primary.

On Labor Day, Trump made his feelings known, slamming Sessions, his own attorney general, for bringing charges against fellow Republicans and possibly costing them their seats this fall.

“Two long running, Obama era, investigations of  two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department,” Trump tweeted. “Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff......”

Along with the conviction of Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortBannon trial date set in alleged border wall scam Conspicuous by their absence from the Republican Convention Ukraine language in GOP platform underscores Trump tensions MORE, and guilty pleas from Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, Democrats are trying to paint the GOP as the party of rampant corruption before the November midterms.

But Ryan called the Collins and Hunter indictments “isolated incidents,” and argued that tax cuts and the strong economy would carry Republicans through the election.

“We’ve taken the appropriate action. We’ve removed these members from their committees, which is what we do in these kinds of situations, which have happened on the other side of the aisle as well. These are isolated incidents,” Ryan said.

“Our members are working hard at doing their jobs … to improve people’s lives. We have an agenda we’re proud of, and we have more work to do that we’re going to complete,” he added. “And that’s going to be the story that’s going to dominate.”

--Updated at 11:25 a.m.