President-elect Donald Trump will not appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton, a senior aide says.
Speaking to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” transition advisor and former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Trump would not appoint a special prosecutor or pursue criminal charges against the former Democratic presidential nominee.
“I think when the President-elect, who’s also the head of your party, tells you before he’s even inaugurated that he doesn’t wish to pursue these charges, it sends a very strong message, tone and content,” she said, indicating that Trump is looking to strike a conciliatory tone ahead of his inauguration.
She expects that the combative language that invigorated his presidential campaign will not characterize his presidency. “Look, I think he’s thinking of many different things as he prepares to become the president of the United States, and things that sound like the campaign aren’t among them,” she said.
Conway added that Clinton “still has to face the fact that a majority of Americans don’t find her to be honest or trustworthy.”
Throughout the campaign, Trump had promised to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state, as well as pay-to-play allegations surrounding the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. The Daily Caller News Foundation broke the news that the Foundation was the subject of a joint FBI-U.S. Attorney investigation in August.
The announcement is something of a break with protocol. Though no law exists to this effect, by tradition, the attorney general is an independent actor and the Department of Justice is an independent agency. Generally, decisions about criminal probes, investigations, and indictments are made exclusively by DOJ without the interference of other government officials.
Former DOJ spokesman Matthew Miller suggested that Conway’s comments portend “disaster” for the department.
He says Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, should use the Senate confirmation process as a platform for assuring Congress that the White House will not dictate decisions of this nature to the Department of Justice.
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