Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks in Cleveland: Watch live at 12:20 p.m.

August 22, 2018

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks in Cleveland: Watch live at 12:20 p.m.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to give remarks today in Cleveland about the nation’s opioid epidemic.

Sessions, appointed last year by President Donald Trump, is expected to talk about law enforcement’s role in combatting the nation’s drug epidemic.

The news conference will take place at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which is in the federal courthouse in downtown Cleveland. U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman will also be at the news conference, along with other Justice Department officials from Washington, D.C.

(Cleveland.com will broadcast Sessions’ remarks on Facebook Live. Check back here for video.)

Sessions and his Justice Department have pushed the idea that increased prosecution will lead to fewer overdoses deaths. While prosecutors brought cases against drug dealers suspected of selling a dose to someone who died during the previous administration, Sessions has also told U.S. attorneys to charge and pursue “the most serious, readily provable offense” in cases they bring involving drugs and violent crime.

His view on these cases is similar to law enforcement during the so-called War on Drugs in the 1980s and 1990s, when prosecutors sought to address the crack-cocaine epidemic and violent crime through aggressive enforcement of federal laws. Many of those prosecuted at the time were poor, black men, and experts say the War on Drugs caused the prison population in the U.S. to dramatically grow.

While Sessions has traveled to Ohio since being sworn in as attorney general, Wednesday’s trip is Sessions’ first trip to Cleveland in his new role.

Update hourly