IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Leading House Republican blames Obama for murders

Before a congressman holds the president responsible for murder, the congressman should have some idea what he's talking about.
House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, May 7, 2014.
House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, May 7, 2014.
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Rules Committee and a former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, has a track record for saying some pretty amazing things. About a year ago, for example, the far-right Texan said if there's a witch hunt underway, that just means "there is a witch somewhere."
The year before, Session said he believe it's "immoral" to extend jobless aid to "long-term unemployments [sic]." Around the same time, the congressman said the House should stop worrying about governing and focus exclusively on "messaging."
And while many of these comments seem bizarre, once in a while Sessions' rhetoric reaches a more alarming level.

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) accused President Barack Obama and Democrats Thursday evening of continually releasing undocumented immigrants who are murdering Americans. "Every day, all along border states, maybe other places, there are murders by people who have been arrested coming into this country, who have been released by the Obama administration, I believe in violation of the law, who are murdering Americans all over our cities," the Rules Committee chairman said at a meeting while discussing Obama's deportation relief policies. "We hold the Democrat [sic] Party and the president personally accountable for this action."

It's not exactly a secret that Republicans don't like President Obama's immigration policy, so it stands to reason that Sessions and his colleagues will complain on a near-constant basis.
But these recent comments are far more inflammatory. Sessions, using his own committee platform, effectively said the president is indirectly responsible for murders committed by immigrants -- and the GOP lawmaker holds Obama and his entire party "personally accountable."
That's not just some throwaway line. This is a congressional committee chairman arguing publicly that the president has blood on his hands. It's the sort of thing a federal lawmaker should be able to back up with substantial evidence before casually throwing around a reckless accusation.
And in this case, Sessions apparently has no idea what he's talking about.

As always, the burden of proof rests with the speaker. Sessions failed to provide any convincing evidence to show that illegal immigrants released by the Obama administration are committing a murder a day. [...] One can debate the merits of the administration's immigration policies without resorting to nonsense facts. Sessions is a committee chairman, and he should know better.

Glenn Kessler's report added that the congressman's staff, when pressed, "struggled to come up with something that would confirm his assertion."
So far, there's also no evidence of Sessions apologizing for his false accusation.