Some parties on the political Right are fretting because President-elect Donald Trump is no longer interested in pursuing legal action against Hillary Clinton.
Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog agency that sued to get more of Clinton’s State Department emails released, urged Trump on Tuesday to “commit his administration” to investigating Clinton, while promising to continue its own litigation and investigations to help uncover possible scandals. For Trump to refuse to do so “would be a betrayal of his promise to the American people to ‘drain the swamp’ of out-of-control corruption in Washington, DC,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton warned in a statement. “President-elect Trump should focus on healing the broken justice system, affirm the rule of law and appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Clinton scandals.”
Ironically, what Fitton wants from Trump would harm the nation’s justice system instead of heal it. CNN quotes University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck as saying, “Even though the attorney general reports to the president, the Department of Justice is meant to exercise a degree of independence from the White House entirely to avoid the perception that political considerations, rather than legal ones, are behind decisions to (or to not) prosecute.”
States Politico, “Matt Miller, a former spokesman with the Department of Justice, tweeted Tuesday morning that Trump would be violating the Justice Department’s independence if he ordered his attorney general to pursue an investigation.”
Trump was correct when he told New York Times reporters that prosecuting Clinton would harm the nation.
Besides, Hillary Clinton has been punished enough already. As a Wall Street Journal editorial states, “Being denied the Presidency is a far more painful punishment than a misdemeanor or minor felony conviction … democracy’s verdict is justice enough for Mrs. Clinton.”
Clinton’s punishment was brought about by the democratic process in each of the 50 states. That punishment should be sufficient even for the harshest of Clinton’s critics. Besides, as Fox News reports, “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.”