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The Washington Post
January 25, 2018

Sessions’s statistics to back up the claim that Trump is ending ‘American carnage’
By Glenn Kessler

In 2013, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced the “Smart on Crime Initiative,” which directed more federal resources to violent cases. The number of cases dropped from 2013 to 2014, but then climbed steadily since then. So Sessions appears to be piggybacking on an Obama initiative to have prosecutors focus more on violent crime. Moreover, note that this is fiscal year data. That means the 2017 data would include nearly four months of cases filed under Obama, as the fiscal year covers Oct. 1, 2016, to Sept. 30, 2017. So if Trump were to claim credit, whatever number is produced could be one-third attributable to Obama. However, another DOJ official said “the vast majority of it occurred under the Trump Administration” because of an intensified focus on violent crime. This is again a fiscal-year number, meaning it covers a period that includes the Obama administration. Indeed, this is the third year in a row that firearms prosecutions have increased, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. Prosecutions rose 11.5 percent from 2015 to 2016, and another 10.8 percent from 2016 to 2017. There were 8,235 federal firearms prosecutions in fiscal 2017, which is the highest since 2008, when 8,484 were prosecuted. But it is still below a high of 11,015 set in 2004.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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