Republican Senator Rand Paul slammed Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ support for civil asset forfeiture during a Tuesday interview, calling the practice “offensive.”
Fox News host Steve Doocy asked the senator from Kentucky about his thoughts on President Donald Trump’s recent criticisms of Sessions’, particularly on Sessions’ recusal from the Russian probe and his apparent unwillingness to investigate Hillary Clinton’s emails.
“I understand both sides,” Paul responded, before stating, “I have my own concerns with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.”
“I am very much offended by the fact that he is now promoting a policy of going after poor people’s property, taking it without a conviction,” he said. “This is called civil asset forfeiture.”
Civil asset forfeiture allows law enforcement officers to take assets away from people if those assets are suspected of being used in a crime. In order to get their property back, owners must prove that their goods were not used for criminal activity.
As Paul explains in the interview, law enforcement officers may be “incentivized” to improperly seize assets because those assets can then be used to fund police office expenses.
“In our country you should be innocent until proven guilty and your property shouldn’t be taken without a court trial,” Paul argued. “The fact that Attorney General Sessions is going all-in on this really is offensive to a lot of us who have been trying to reform this situation.”