Mazie K. Hirono

Official says Justice will aggressively pursue hate crimes

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is committed to prosecuting those who commit religious hate crimes, a Justice Department official said Tuesday as Democratic senators questioned whether the Trump administration's rhetoric and policies have contributed to a spike in such offenses.

Eric Treene, the department's special counsel for religious discrimination, offered no theories for what has caused a recent rise in religious hate crimes, but said Sessions has urged the nation's federal prosecutors to pursue those cases as part of his tough-on-crime agenda. Treene's comments came during a Senate Judiciary Hearing to address a rise in hate crimes.

"It's no accident that there is...