Democrat — and at the least 1 Republican — blame Sessions’ new directive on criminal charges

( CNN) Members of Congress reacted Friday with mixed reviews — some sharply critical — of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ new directive that could potentially ramp up criminal charges in cases involving nonviolent narcotic crimes.

In a memo Friday morning, Sessions formally withdrew a signature part of former Attorney General Eric Holder’s “Smart on Crime” initiative, which sought to target the most serious crimes and reduce the number of defendants charged with nonviolent drug offenses that would otherwise trigger mandatory minimum sentences.

Members of both parties have been pushing for reform in this area in recent years. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, has been one of the most vocal Republicanleading the effort and was critical of Sessions’ new policy.

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