President-elect Donald Trump said he doesn't want to hurt his former Democratic rival Hillary Clinton any more, but hasn't declared her innocent, so she could still be prosecuted over her use of a private email server or other possible wrongdoing, Rep. Darrell Issa said Friday.
Nothing Trump has said would stop Jeff Sessions, if confirmed as attorney general, from reopening the case against Clinton and prosecuting her, Issa explained.
"I think it's important that the president do essentially what he does, which is get out of the business of prosecuting, but at the same time he's appointed or proposed appointing an attorney general who has a long record of doing his job," Issa, a California Republican and a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox News' "Fox and Friends," doubling down on comments he made on the matter earlier this week.
Sessions, along with the FBI and other investigatory organizations, "need to do their job," Issa said Friday, and he believes with Trump in office, that will happen.
"I think that's where the balance of the next president is going to come, in reestablishing the independence of the Department of Justice," said Issa, and he thinks Congress will "certainly push" for further investigation or prosecution of the former Secretary of State.
Meanwhile, Issa said, he thinks Trump will stand back and let the Department of Justice do its job.
"I think you are going to find a president who says let them do their job and stays out of it," said Issa. "You know, he hasn't said she's innocent. That's a decision that needs to be made by the professionals."
That would be unlike President Barack Obama, said Issa, accusing the president of "trying to essentially jury tamper" the investigation by saying "there isn't a smidgen of evidence" against Clinton.
"It's important that this president stay out of it," said Issa. "Trump will have the right to pardon her but pardoning is separate."
Even FBI Director James Comey, while announcing that he did not find Clinton's activities to be prosecutable, never said no laws were broken, Issa pointed out.
"He said he didn't have the evidence to prosecute," said Issa. "He said no prosecutor would. If he continues to do his job and if he finds the evidence necessary, this new Department of Justice is not going to have a bias from the top that the last one did."
The Clinton case is not the only one that was subjected to interference from the top, said Issa, as Congress wanted to bring former IRS employee Lois Lerner before a grand jury or up for prosecution over targeting Tea Party or conservative organizations with additional scrutiny and "they refused to do it."
"It's that kind of interference that the American people are tired of," Issa said.
Trump, though, has long threatened Clinton with prosecution, saying during a debate earlier this year that he'd order his attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor in the Clinton case, and that she would be "in jail" if he was president, making comments that came under fire from several experts while drawing cheers from his supporters.
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