© Greg Nash
Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal MORE (R-Ark.) tore into the Clinton Foundation on Tuesday, comparing it to an illegal money-laundering operation.
Asked on Hugh Hewitt's radio show about a Wall Street Journal report that four FBI offices were gathering information on the foundation earlier this year, the Arkansas senator speculated that a high-ranking Justice Department official is shutting down probes into the Clintons.
"I suspect that was a very high-ranking Department of Justice political appointee who was carrying water for the Clinton machine and wanted to shut down an investigation into the Clinton Foundation, which increasingly looks like one of the largest money laundering and influence peddling operations in the world," Cotton said.
He also predicted that Democrat presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonAttorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation Durham seeking indictment of lawyer with ties to Democrats: reports Paul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book MORE would carry out corrupt actions in the White House if the foundation isn't shut down and Clinton wins the presidential election next week and doesn't "come clean with all of its past activities."
"There’s no telling the kind of corruption that you might see out of the Clinton White House. They did it in the State Department. Of course, they’re going to do it in the White House," he said.
The foundation has said it would limit the scope of its activities and stop accepting foreign donations if Clinton wins the White House.
Cotton's remarks were part of a broader interview about the FBI's surprise decision to start a new review of emails it deemed "pertinent" to Clinton's use of a private email server during her time as secretary of State.
Clinton and top Democrats have blasted the unexpected move from FBI Director James Comey, urging him to be more transparent and accusing him of influencing the election.
Cotton — considered a potential 2020 GOP presidential candidate and frequent Clinton critic — said, however, that he is "not real sympathetic to the crocodile tears."
"This is not an FBI or a Director Comey problem," he said. "This is a Hillary Clinton problem, and this is why so many Americans view her as untrustworthy and dishonest."
Republicans are hoping the 11th-hour announcement will give them a boost in tough battles up and down the ballot.
Two polls released Monday, however, showed Clinton holding her lead against Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE.