Gingrich tells Trump not to back off Clinton

Newt Gingrich is urging Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Gov. Ron DeSantis more popular in Florida than Trump Sotomayor accuses Supreme Court of bias in favor of Trump administration MORE not to instruct the Justice Department or other agencies to ignore Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRussian interference reports rock Capitol Hill Judge dismisses Nunes' lawsuit against Fusion GPS The Hill's Campaign Report: What to watch for in Nevada MORE’s possible misconduct as secretary of State.

“I think it’s very important for President-elect Trump to be very careful in this area,” Gingrich said on Fox News’s “Fox and Friends” Wednesday.

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“He can express his personal view — that he doesn’t want to have a vendetta, he’s going forward,” the former GOP Speaker added.

“But I think for him to interfere and say to the FBI or the IRS or the Justice Department, ‘You should not pay attention to law-breaking,’ that would be a tremendous blow to the rule of law. That would, in fact, be fully as much a violation of the rule of law as what [President] Obama did.”

Gingrich added that Trump is possibly remaining neutral toward Clinton before the federal government takes a more active role.

“I hope what President-elect Trump is saying is that he is not personally going to interfere with or in any way suggest to the FBI or the IRS what they should be doing,” he said of his fellow Republican. "I can’t imagine that the new attorney general, [Sen.] Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOn the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump Trump looms as flashpoint in Alabama Senate battle Trump tweets test Attorney General Barr MORE [R-Ala.], would tolerate sending signals to the FBI or the IRS that they should not look at law-breaking."

Trump on Tuesday indicated he has little enthusiasm for prosecuting Clinton, his former Democratic rival.

“It’s just not something I feel strongly about,” he told The New York Times, adding that Clinton has already “suffered greatly.”

Trump frequently vowed on the campaign trail to appoint a special prosecutor to probe Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of State.

The pledge often inspired Trump’s voters to chant “lock her up” when the billionaire mentioned her at his rallies.