Graham: Trump’s new AG has ‘concerns’ about criminal justice bill

Graham: Trump’s new AG has ‘concerns’ about criminal justice bill
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWhy Trump's bigoted tropes won't work in 2020 The Memo: Toxic 2020 is unavoidable conclusion from Trump tweets GOP put on the back foot by Trump's race storm MORE (R-S.C.) says that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has "concerns" about a criminal justice bill authored by senators with the help of President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE's son-in-law, Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question Judiciary issues blitz of subpoenas for Kushner, Sessions, Trump associates House Judiciary to vote to authorize subpoenas for Trump officials, immigration documents MORE, but doesn't want to stop the bill from passing.

Graham told The Washington Post that Whitaker's concerns centered around the aspects of the bill dealing with enforcement of drug felonies, for which the bill would reduce mandatory minimum sentences in some cases.

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“He said he doesn’t want to kill it,” Graham said Thursday, according to the Post. “He just wanted to express his concerns.”

Graham also said Whitaker had expressed his concerns to Trump, who announced his own support for the plan on Wednesday.

Whitaker's views on the bill are important as his predecessor, Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsPress: Acosta, latest to walk the plank The Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question Alabama senator says Trump opposed to Sessions Senate bid MORE, was seen as a major obstacle to proponents of criminal justice reform on Capitol Hill.

The bill, among other measures, would reduce the final "three strikes" penalty from life in prison to 25 years behind bars.

“These members have reached a bipartisan agreement … on prison reform legislation. Today I’m thrilled to announce my support,” Trump said on Wednesday. “I urge lawmakers in both House and Senate to work hard and to act quickly and send a final bill to my desk, and I look very much forward to signing it.”

Trump on Wednesday touted the bill's support from the Fraternal Order of Police and other law enforcement groups during a ceremony with GOP lawmakers and Kushner at the White House.

“Throughout this process my administration has worked closely with law enforcement. Their backing has ensured that this legislation remains tough on crime. It’s got to remain very tough on crime and supports the tremendous work of our police,” the president said at the event.