Sessions 'enjoys wide support' of federal prosecutors: Top DOJ official

PHOTO: President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions attend a panel discussion on opioid and drug abuse in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 29, 2017. PlayShawn Thew/Getty Images
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Current and former Justice Department officials – including even staunch critics of the Trump administration – are increasingly offering their support to embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

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The latest show of support came today from one of the nation’s top prosecutors, a veteran government attorney who’s been with the Justice Department for nearly two decades.

Speaking with ABC News’ Pierre Thomas, U.S. Attorney Jill Rose of the Western District of North Carolina said Sessions “enjoys wide support” among federal prosecutors like her. “And ... in times like this, the men and the women of the Department of Justice continue to do our work. We continue to represent the citizens of the United States of America.”

“We'll continue to do that no matter what," the career prosecutor added.

In recent days, President Donald Trump has attacked Sessions as “beleaguered” and “weak,” telling reporters on Tuesday that he would have chosen someone else to lead the Justice Department had he known Sessions would recuse himself from the federal probe of Russia’s interference in last year’s presidential election.

On Tuesday, shortly after Trump’s salvo against Sessions, another career Justice Department official offered support for Sessions, telling ABC News that the attorney general should “uphold the institution” and remain “principled” by refusing to resign without a formal request from Trump.

“This is all truly bizarre since some were concerned that [Sessions] would be too close to the administration,” the official said, speaking with ABC News on the condition of anonymity. “I imagine that whatever career folks think of the [attorney general’s] policies, there will be stronger support for him as he represents the institution against an attack on [institutional] norms.”

That sentiment was also promoted by Eric Columbus, a former Justice Department official who was attacked several years ago by conservative media over his previous work as defense counsel for a Guantanamo Bay detainee.

“I disagree with calls for Sessions to quit after Trump’s attacks,” Eric Columbus wrote on Twitter. “As an Obama DOJ guy, I’d love him to quit for other reasons. Not this.”

Trump's public disparagement of Sessions continued this morning, with the president questioning Sessions' decision to keep the acting FBI director on board.

"Why didn't A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got big dollars ($700,000) for his wife's political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!" Trump wrote in two tweets.

Asked later today whether Trump wants Sessions to remain as attorney general, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sander said, “If there comes a point he doesn’t, he’ll make that decision.”

Meanwhile, as Rose suggested, the Justice Department’s work seems to continue. On Tuesday, the department announced that it will be tightening requirements for cities and other jurisdictions around the country that want key federal grants. In order to receive grants in the next fiscal year, the Justice Department will require cities and other jurisdictions to certify that they are in compliance with a law that allows federal authorities to obtain immigration-related information on "any individual" from local police.

Among Rose’s most notable cases: She led the prosecution against Gen. David Petraeus for his mishandling of classified information, and she prosecuted the nation’s first successful death penalty case against an MS-13 gang member, according to the Justice Department.

ABC News' Meghan Keneally contributed to this report.