Trump to NYT, No More Criminal Probes of Hillary Clinton: “I don’t want to hurt the Clintons”
President-elect Donald Trump said Tuesday that he would not pursue any further criminal investigations of Hillary Clinton regarding her private email server use or the Clinton Foundation.
“I don’t want to hurt the Clintons, I really don’t,” Trump told The New York Times in an on-the-record interview with reporters and editors. “She went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways.
“It’s just not something that I feel very strongly about,” he said.
Trump added that he was seeking to unify the nation and that he did not believe that his decision would upset his supporters.
“I don’t think they will be disappointed,” the president-elect said. “I think I will explain it that we in many ways will save our country.”
Prosecuting the former secretary of state “would be very, very divisive for the country,” Trump added.
The existing investigations would not end, however, he suggested.
“I’m not looking to go back and go through this,” Trump said.
Kellyanne Conway, the president-elect’s senior adviser, earlier Tuesday confirmed a report by “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski that Trump would not follow through on his campaign pledge to prosecute Clinton.
“When the president tells you he doesn’t wish to pursue the charges, it sends a strong message,” Conway told the MSNBC program. “I think Hillary Clinton still has to face the fact that a majority of Americans don’t find her to be honest or trustworthy, but if Trump can help her heal, perhaps that’s a good thing.
“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 are not among them,” she said.
Trump’s decision brought a strong rebuke from Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch. The organization has filed more than 20 lawsuits against the Obama administration over Clinton’s private email use.
“Donald Trump must commit his administration to a serious, independent investigation of the very serious Clinton national security, email, and pay-to-play scandals,” Fitton said.
“If Mr. Trump’s appointees continue the Obama administration’s politicized spiking of a criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton, it would be a betrayal of his promise to the American people to ‘drain the swamp’ of out-of-control corruption in Washington.
“President-elect Trump should focus on healing the broken justice system, affirming the rule of law and appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the Clinton scandals,” Fitton said.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whom Trump is considering for a cabinet post, has long said that Clinton should be jailed for her actions in the scandals.
He backed off, however, after Conway’s MSNBC interview.
“There’s a tradition in American politics that after you win an election, you sort of put things behind you,” he told reporters inside Trump Tower, Politico reports. “And if that’s the decision he reached, that’s perfectly consistent with sort of a historical pattern of things come up, you say a lot of things — even some bad things might happen — and then you can sort of put it behind you in order to unite the nation.”
He added that he would back Trump’s “tough choice.”
“You could go either way,” Giuliani said. “If he made the choice to unite the nation, I think, all those people who didn’t vote against him, maybe, could take another look at him.”