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Ex-Bush ethics lawyer: Trump calling for Clinton to be prosecuted is an ‘impeachable offense’


Former President George W. Bush’s chief ethics lawyer on Tuesday said President Trump calling for Hillary Clinton to be prosecuted is an “impeachable offense.”

“Pressuring [attorney general] to prosecute the person who lost the election is an impeachable offense if we value free elections,” Richard Painter tweeted.

Trump in an early morning tweet Tuesday ramped up his criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying Sessions, one of his earliest allies in the 2016 campaign, “has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes.”

{mosads}The president’s calls for Clinton to be prosecuted contradicts his claim in November that he wouldn’t follow through on a campaign pledge to seek an investigation into the former secretary of State.

“It’s just not something that I feel very strongly about,” he told The New York Times, saying that prosecuting his former Democratic rival would be “very, very divisive for the country.”

Trump also said at the time that he didn’t think the decision would disappoint his supporters.

“I think I will explain it that we in many ways will save our country,” he said.

Trump on Monday described Sessions as “beleaguered” and in an interview last week said he was disappointed that the attorney general had recused himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into Russian election meddling.

Sessions, a former senator from Alabama, stepped aside after it was revealed that he did not disclose during his confirmation hearings that he met with Russia’s ambassador to the United States during the 2016 campaign, when he was advising the Trump campaign and appearing as a surrogate. 

The Washington Post reported that Trump and his advisers are floating possible replacements for Sessions, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R).

However, Giuliani said on Monday that he’s not being considered for the position, and Cruz denied being under consideration.

Tags Hillary Clinton Jeff Sessions Ted Cruz

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