Will Donald Trump seek to jail Hillary Clinton once he becomes President of the United States? The Republican president-elect pledged to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the former Secretary of State over her email scandal in an effort to throw her in prison. What fast became a credo of his movement might be down a little further on his list as he prepares to enter America’s most powerful office.
“Lock her up” chants were heard outside of the New York Hilton on Tuesday night during Trump’s victory party. The chants were a staple at all Donald Trump rallies as frustrated American’s wanted to see Hillary Clinton pay for her actions when she allegedly put the nation at risk and got away with it.
— The Hill (@thehill) November 10, 2016
The Hill reports that it wasn’t the first thing Trump was going to pursue the moment he was announced as America’s new president-elect. One of the vows Donald Trump made to his supporters was to jail Hillary Clinton if he ever won the presidency, but timing is everything. Considering this is the most shocking election result in modern times, Trump is trying to smooth the waters after a violent rippling effect swelled to huge waves crashing down on Clinton voters.
In his victory speech early Wednesday morning, Trump didn’t go on a rampage about jailing Clinton. He opted to deliver a speech of appreciation to his voters and offered unity to those who didn’t vote for him. What perplexed some were Trump’s remarks thanking his Democratic opponent for her service to the country.
“Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country. I mean that very sincerely,” Trump said in his victory speech.
It was a radical departure from his rants on the campaign trail.
“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division — we’ve got to get together. It is time for us to come together as one united people,” Trump urged in his speech.
Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday morning and explained that this might be something the president-elect would do down the road. When Hillary Clinton called Trump to concede the election, it wasn’t something they discussed. Conway continued that she and Trump haven’t discussed the special prosecutor since his victory, but it’s not being ruled out.
“He certainly didn’t address it with Mrs. Clinton on the phone,” Conway said.
The report noted that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani might be a candidate for attorney general in Trump’s administration, but it’s unclear whether he’ll be investigating Clinton if and when he is selected by President-Elect Trump and then approved by the Senate.
Donald Trump might well believe in getting a prosecutor on Hillary Clinton’s case, but he’s between a rock and a hard place with tensions soaring from non-supporters. While Trump supporters want to see Clinton indicted for her actions for using unsecured servers to send and receive classified emails, the president-elect’s agenda is stacked with a list of other promises he made that require immediate attention.
When FBI Director James Comey announced in July that Clinton was “extremely careless” in her handling of sensitive information, and the Justice Department refused to file charges, it sent many Americans into a rage. Donald Trump asserted at all of his rallies that no one, but the almighty Hillary Clinton could get away with such things. Anyone else would’ve been jailed for years for far less.
At an October debate against Clinton, Trump was clear about making her email scandal something his cabinet would look at.
“If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation,” Trump told Clinton. “Because there has never been so many lies, so much deception — there has never been anything like it. And we’re going to have a special prosecutor.”
— TorontoStar (@TorontoStar) October 10, 2016
Congressional committees are probing the Clinton emails. Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said on CNN’s State of the Union last Sunday that there were a lot of things they “still need to figure out.” He said there were a lot of questions that still need to be answered.
Leaders of the House Judiciary and Senate Judiciary and Homeland Security committees have ordered Comey to hand over additional information that the FBI has. The probe into the Clinton Foundation and its questionable connections to the State Department are also under intense scrutiny.
Now that Hillary Clinton is a private citizen, the penalties wouldn’t be as severe as if she were serving. A renewed criminal case could be pending under Trump’s administration, according to the report. Furthermore, any order to reopen the case would meet strong resistance from the Department of Justice. Ron Hosko, a former senior FBI official who heads the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, said Comey would fight it and possibly leave his job if it came down to it. Hosko thinks it would all be a huge mistake if the investigation was reopened… so much so that he hopes Trump’s closest advisers would discourage him from pursuing it.
Matthew Miller, a former DOJ spokesman in the Obama administration, concurred that it’s unlikely Clinton’s case will be reopened.
“That’s one of the things I say is hard to imagine,” Miller said. “Because the way that Trump talks about the Justice Department and how he would handle it in his administration flies so in the face of the existing practices to ensure independence, that it’s hard to see how it would work.
“If he were to govern in the way he’s campaigned, I think you would see mass resignations at DOJ.”
It appears that even if Donald Trump wanted to jail Hillary Clinton as acting president, he’d be ill-advised to do so.
[Featured Image by Pool/Getty Images]