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Trump Wanted to ‘Order’ DOJ to ‘Prosecute’ Hillary Clinton, James Comey: Report

According to The New York Times, President Trump reportedly told then-White House counsel Don McGahn earlier this year that he wanted to “order” the Justice Department to “prosecute” 2016 presidential opponent Hillary Clinton and former FBI director James Comey. In a statement, McGahn’s lawyer denied the president “ordered that anyone prosecute Hillary Clinton or James Comey.”

Sources told the newspaper that McGahn informed the president in the spring that he had “no authority to order a prosecution.” McGahn also reportedly told Trump that while he could request an investigation, such an ask could “prompt accusations of abuse of power.” White House lawyers reportedly wrote a “several-page” memo to Trump—at McGahn’s direction—explaining how asking law enforcement to probe his political rivals “could face a range of consequences,” including impeachment. It is reportedly not clear if Trump read the memo. CNN reported later Tuesday that Trump asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and then-Attorney General Jeff Session's chief of staff Matthew Whitaker if the DOJ was “progressing” in probing Clinton “multiple times.”

According to the Times, Trump has continued to discuss the matter—including the possible appointment of another special counsel to investigate Clinton and Comey. The president also reportedly called FBI director Christopher Wray “weak” for not “aggressively” investigating Clinton.