President Donald Trump encountered bipartisan criticism on Tuesday for complaining that his own Justice Department's indictments against two Republican congressmen were endangering the GOP's midterm election prospects, with one Republican senator saying of Trump's attack, "We can't normalize that".
President Trump recently accused the three of censoring Americans and vowed that his administration would look into it. Both lawmakers have pleaded not guilty.
"It was over and above what he's done before", Sen. "Justice should be blind".
Flake has repeatedly criticized Trump for his performance as president and is not seeking re-election this fall.
No exaggeration: if any other elected leader in a Western democracy tried to instruct their top law enforcement official to shield their political allies from prosecution for political reasons like this, they would be forced to resign within hours.
In a tweet, Mr Trump criticised the prosecution of "two very popular Republican Congressmen".
On Wednesday, Ryan said Congress has taken appropriate actions by removing the two members from their committee assignments.
Only Collins' case began when former President Barack Obama was in office.
The indictment into Collins lays out behavior from 2017. Both seats appear likely to remain in GOP hands, but the charges have raised Democratic hopes.
The White House is denying several of the claims in Woodward's book, though not specifically commenting on reports that Trump described Sessions as "mentally retarded".
"Words matter, and President Trump's choice of words highlight his disregard for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have made it clear for decades that the term retarded is considered a slur against them", said Marty Ford, senior executive officer for public policy at The Arc.
Former Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara called Trump's tweet "next level insane, inappropriate, unethical, stupid, incriminating". Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"So the justice system is under attack, and I'll be looking forward to statements from this nominee as a court of appeals judge, let alone nominee of the United States Supreme Court", he added shortly before confirmation hearings were set to begin for Kavanaugh.
Ahead of Wednesday's hearings, Trump, without offering evidence, accused social media companies of interfering in the congressional elections, telling the Daily Caller conservative website that social media firms are "super liberal".
Trump also has repeatedly complained publicly and privately over Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the federal investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation because he'd worked on Trump's campaign.
Trump told the conservative outlet in an interview conducted on Tuesday that "I think they already have" interfered in the November 6 election.
Trump opened his most recent salvo against Sessions in late August, saying his attorney general "never took control of the Justice Department". "Good Job Jeff", his tweet continued. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments.