DENVER (CBS4) – Attorney General Jeff Sessions called out Sen. Cory Gardner on Tuesday for blocking nominations for the Department of Justice.
In January, Gardner, a Republican and Colorado’s junior senator, said he’s placing a hold on DOJ nominees after Sessions withdrew a federal policy called the Cole memo which stopped federal prosecutors from interfering with marijuana sales in states where it’s legal.
Sessions voiced his frustration with the stalled confirmation hearings at the National Sheriff’s Association meeting. He said politics are putting safety at risk.
“Right now, one senator’s concerns over unrelated issues like reversing federal law against marijuana – we can’t even get a vote. As attorney general, I don’t have the authority to say something is legal if it’s not legal,” Sessions said.
Gardner says Sessions assured him marijuana enforcement would not be a priority before Sessions was confirmed.
Gardner’s office has since responded to Sessions’ comments.
“Sen. Gardner’s holds on Justice nominees remain in place as he and our staff continue to talk with the Department of Justice and discuss a path forward which recognizes Colorado’s state’s rights and ensures law enforcement has the authority and tools needed to protect our communities,” the office said in a statement. “Sen. Gardner is also working with a bipartisan group of senators from across the political spectrum and they continue to look at ways Congress can take action to preserve states’ rights.”