President-elect Donald Trump is feeling magnanimous. Sure, his campaign rallies, even the Republican National Convention, were filled with chants of "Lock her up!," but that was then. Trump, his campaign, and his supporters stoked this idea over the course of the campaign that Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was a crook, a money-thieving, email-deleting criminal mastermind who, for the good of the country, needed to be brought to justice. But that was then. Now Trump says he won't investigate Clinton to "help her heal" instead. What he doesn't appear to realize is that he lacks a case, or even the authority to do so.
Trump's former campaign manager and current senior adviser Kellyanne Conway told MSNBC on Tuesday that he won't investigate Clinton, because Trump wants to help Clinton heal after her loss, according to New York Magazine.
“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," Conway said, New York Magazine reported. "If Donald Trump can help her heal, then perhaps that’s a good thing to do."
Somewhere out there I'd like to think Clinton just threw up in her mouth a little and millions of Trump fans just realized they were duped.
Conway, of course didn't give the real reasons for why Trump wouldn't try and appoint a special prosecutor with the intent to find some reason to jail his political opponent: after an extensive investigation into everything from Benghazi to her email servers, no one could find any evidence of wrongdoing. FBI Director James Comey cleared Clinton twice of criminal wrongdoing related to her email servers, once in July and again just days before the election, CNN reported.
After testifying for 11 hours in front of the Congress about Benghazi, and a thorough investigation, she was cleared of any wrongdoing, The Guardian reported. The FBI investigated, and found no wrongdoing in her handling of the Clinton Foundation either, according to ABC News.
So what would another special prosecutor have been able to unearth that the FBI, Congress, and everyone else trying to damage her political aspirations over decades in the public eye weren't? Probably not much.
Then there's the sticky matter that the President-elect of the United States of America is not some dictator who can jail anyone he wants on a whim.
It's the Justice Department, not the president, that determines who is charged with crimes, according to MCNBC's Steve Benen who wrote in response to Conway's pronouncement:
...the notion that Trump believes he has some personal discretion over who is and isn’t prosecuted is ridiculous. Presidents have considerable power, but it’s not up to the person in the Oval Office to dictate who’ll faces criminal charges. That’s just not how the American justice system works.
But while maybe Clinton can sit a little easier knowing she won't have to lawyer up against President Trump, it's Trump voters who seem to be getting all the bad news. First Clinton isn't going to jail, then Conway added this glimpse at things to come from the Trump administration:
“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 are not among them," Conway said according to New York Magazine.
"Build That Wall!" sounds a lot like the Trump campaign too. Could that be Trump's next broken campaign promise?