November 22, 2016
"Trump will not pursue charges against Clinton, aide says"
The title of this post is the headline of this new FoxNews piece, which reports these details:
President-elect Donald Trump will not pursue charges against Hillary Clinton relating to the Clinton foundation or the former secretary of state’s use of a private email server, former Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Tuesday.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Conway said that while Clinton “has to face the fact that a majority of Americans don’t find her to be honest and trustworthy,” it would be a good thing if Trump can “help her heal.” "I think when the President-elect, who's also the head of your party…tells you before he's even inaugurated he doesn't wish to pursue these charges, it sends a very strong message, tone, and content,” she said.
The move is a significant break from Trump’s campaign rhetoric, which included a warning that if he were president he’d get his attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate her behavior. In the second presidential debate he quipped to Clinton that if he was president: “you’d be in jail.” Cries of “lock her up” were a common feature at Trump’s campaign rallies....
Trump's decision not to pursue charges against Clinton would not prevent congressional Republicans from opening investigations and referring them to the Justice Department for charges. Trump expanded on his decision at a meeting with reporters at the New York Times Tuesday afternoon, telling them "I think it would be very very divisive for the country" to prosecute the Clintons, although he hadn't taken it off the table entirely.
Though I am 99.9% certain nobody will fully understand the full basis for my first two reactions here, I will share them anyway: (1) I am a tiny bit disappointed, and (2) I hope congressional Republicans will at least do some investigation into the deleted emails and/or into pay-to-play with the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was serving as Secretary of State.
UPDATE: Kent over at Crime & Consequences has this post on this topic under the title "Amnesty for Hillary."
November 22, 2016 at 02:09 PM | Permalink
Much to my surprise, an excellent political move by Trump.
Posted by: anon2 | Nov 22, 2016 2:58:08 PM
Since Trump just bought his way out of a massive fraud charge, he could scarcely do any other.
Posted by: peter | Nov 22, 2016 3:02:37 PM
Prof. you write "I hope congressional Republicans will at least do some investigation into the deleted emails and/or into pay-to-play with the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was serving as Secretary of State." Are you kidding? These are peccadillos compared with the myriad conflicts and pay-to-play charges that will deluge Trump.
Posted by: anon12 | Nov 22, 2016 3:03:28 PM
"Much to my surprise, an excellent political move by Trump."
Tell that to those lesser mortals who didn't have top secret info on their server who are doing time.
The excellent political move--the DoJ can't really ignore the Clinton Foundation crapola (which all of you would hate), and it won't.
Posted by: federalist | Nov 22, 2016 3:04:12 PM
Federalist, you write, "the DoJ can't really ignore the Clinton Foundation crapola (which all of you would hate), and it won't." I disagree. The DoJ willl ignore the Clinton Foundation crapola just as it will ignore the Trump-conflict crapola.
Posted by: anon12 | Nov 22, 2016 3:29:15 PM
Federalist, you wrote ""Much to my surprise, an excellent political move by Trump."
Tell that to those lesser mortals who didn't have top secret info on their server who are doing time. " But anon2's point was that the move was astute as a political move in general. I agree.
It disarms to some extent the anger among democrats at having lost the election.
Posted by: anon12 | Nov 22, 2016 3:32:13 PM
I should have been clearer--it IS an excellent political move, as it signals Trump's personal desire to "move on." But it will cause some consternation among lesser mortals, and my point is therefore very fair, and it should bother Dems too.
The investigation of the Foundation will continue--the IRS isn't just going to stop, and depending on what it finds, the DoJ may start looking hard.
Clinton is not out of the woods, and neither are her subordinates.
Posted by: federalist | Nov 22, 2016 3:47:50 PM
by the by, Hillary has some civil issues as well with the Judicial Watch suit---emails were destroyed when under subpoena--that's going to be an issue.
Posted by: federalist | Nov 22, 2016 4:05:03 PM
I'm not sure if I have said it here but I do see this being the only reasonable move. I simply see no way a jury would convict, no matter how strong the evidence were on the issues surrounding the email server - it would be impossible to keep HRC supporters off the jury and I just don't see them accepting a guilty verdict. (I could well see her not getting a straight acquittal but without a near-certain likelihood of conviction this case would be a massive political loser).
Now, if there were an equally strong case regarding the CGI I could well see that being different, Americans care a great deal more about tax cheats than classified documents.
Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Nov 22, 2016 4:22:12 PM
Now starts all the back-peddling by Trump. An investigation into the Clinton Foundation opens him for greater scrutiny of hi sown foundation and businesses. By giving Clinton a pass, he hopes to get one when his own corruption starts to emerge. He cares too much about his empire not to push and violate the conflict of interest rules.
Posted by: Paul | Nov 22, 2016 4:50:47 PM
Is his re-nomination of Garland far away?
As to investigations, I agree. Congress Republicans have been really lax with regarding to investigating Clinton. The media too. It's why she got that popular vote margin, surely.
Posted by: Joe | Nov 22, 2016 7:49:34 PM
The email server in the house was not there because a grandmother did not know technology, as Michael Moore claimed. It was there to avoid oversight by the Inspector General and by Congress, to avoid the Freedom of Information Act process. Why? The most likely reason was a pay to play scheme, selling the office of Secretary to high bidders. I agree with Prof. Berman that the $1.5 billion for Haitian reconstruction going to donors to the Clinton Foundation, and which completely disappeared should be retrieved by Congressional investigators. Did they even build two small houses?
That being said, each of the people here commits three felonies a day. The sole reason the entire nation is not in stir is prosecutorial discretion.
I hope the Democrats respect and appreciate the meaning of Trump's decision, today. If he had prosecuted her, it would be guaranteed the same would happen to the next Republican loser of a Presidential election. Bork was Borked. And, now all nominated Justices are being Borked.
I propose a meeting of the political parties, in the style of the Five Families, in the Godfather movie, where the mob hits are ended, and we all return to doing business. How did things ever get so far?
The alternative is the settling of all family business, today.
Posted by: David Behar | Nov 22, 2016 10:29:10 PM
"Bork was Borked."
Given a full public hearing (in committee and on the floor) with the opposition in control of Senate & then a compromise choice was confirmed in an election year after his strong conservative views was seen by an up and down vote not to be appropriate especially to replace a swing justice?
Garland was not given a hearing and Obama skipped over Bork and nominated Kennedy. All nominated justices anyway are not being put to the same ideological confirmation battle. It's in bad form to have them being as open with their views during the nomination. They all were confirmed too except for Miers, who the President's own party rejected. Until Garland came along and was "Garlanded."
Anyway, since the email issue has been deeply investigated already, Congress should spend its time on other matters. Such as those involving the sitting President come 1/20. Maybe, Trump can release his tax returns to help them.
Posted by: Joe | Nov 23, 2016 8:59:44 AM
Joe, Hillary was having her non-cleared maid print classified documents. On what planet is that ok? You are the biggest shill here.
Posted by: federalist | Nov 23, 2016 11:00:24 AM
You would be 99 percent wrong. I understand both your thoughts and agree with them. If military at all levels have been and are being criminally prosecuted for the same thing that Clinton did many times, there should be no exception.
Furthermore, Trump should just remove himself from it and let the FBI do it's job, have his AG give them permission to call a grand jury. Let justice be done.
Giving the high ups clemency and pardoning or just not following through on prosecution got its start with Ford and Nixon, and it was a terrible precedent. You do wrong, you're not above the law.
Posted by: Stephen Douglas | Nov 23, 2016 11:21:30 AM
Stephen. There are so many rules and laws, you and everyone else should be prosecuted, for example, for your daily three felonies. Discretion for all may be applied for the good of the country by Donald Trump to the case of Hillary Clinton.
Posted by: David Behar | Nov 23, 2016 11:46:04 AM
"If military at all levels have been and are being criminally prosecuted for the same thing that Clinton did many times, there should be no exception."
It has been discussed by Comey on down how the various other cases weren't "the same."
Posted by: Joe | Nov 23, 2016 11:49:13 AM
Yes, Joe, Clinton's was worse. Even a shill like you doesn't believe that she didn't know what "(C)" meant.
Moreover, Joe, the FBI wasn't exactly tough on her when it comes to questioning.
Posted by: federalist | Nov 23, 2016 12:23:50 PM
Who would want this overlapping investigation?
Posted by: George | Nov 24, 2016 12:36:54 AM
When one is nice to the pig that's because it's about to be bacon.
Posted by: Daniel | Nov 25, 2016 2:17:47 PM