Administration

Trump wanted DOJ to prosecute Clinton, Comey: report

President Trump wanted to order the Department of Justice (DOJ) to prosecute his 2016 presidential opponent Hillary Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey, according to The New York Times.

Trump this past spring reportedly told then-White House counsel Don McGahn of his desire to prosecute the pair, prompting McGahn to rebuff the president, saying he did not have the authority to do so.

{mosads}McGahn later told the president that he did have the authority, but warned that such a request would likely elicit accusations of abuses of power, the Times reported.

McGahn then promised to send a memo outlining the president’s authorities, which he had White House lawyers compose. The memo warned that asking for the prosecutions could lead to Trump’s impeachment or other negative repercussions.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment

McGahn left his role as White House counsel in October after 21 months. Trump chose commercial litigator Pat Cipollone to replace him.

The president continues to privately discuss the possibility of prosecuting Clinton and Comey, the Times reported, citing two people who have spoken to Trump about the matter.

It’s unclear what charges Trump wanted prosecutors to pursue, the newspaper reported.

One of the people who spoke with Trump about his desire for the prosecutions said the president has consistently expressed disappointment with FBI Director Christopher Wray for not aggressively investigating Clinton, according to the Times.

The newspaper also reported that Trump has grown frustrated with Wray for not investigating Clinton’s role in the Obama administration’s decision to allow Russia’s nuclear agency to buy a uranium mining company.

Last year, Trump’s lawyers privately requested that the DOJ investigate Comey for mishandling sensitive government information and for his role in the Clinton email investigation, according to the Times. The request was denied.

McGahn’s legal counsel, William Burck, told the Times that McGahn “will not comment on his legal advice to the president.”

“Like any client, the president is entitled to confidentiality,” Burck said. “Mr. McGahn would point out, though, that the president never, to his knowledge, ordered that anyone prosecute Hillary Clinton or James Comey.”

Updated at 5:40 p.m.

Tags Don McGahn Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Hillary Clinton James Comey James Comey President Trump

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