Donald Trump won’t follow through on his promise to appoint a special prosecutor to dig into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server as secretary of state, a top aide to the president-elect suggested Tuesday.
Appearing on MSNBC, Kellyanne Conway didn’t dispute the channel’s report, citing an unidentified source, that Trump wouldn’t pursue probes into Clinton’s e-mail or foundation.
When the president-elect, as head of the party, “tells you before he’s even inaugurated he doesn’t wish to pursue these charges, it sends a very strong message, tone and content, to the members,” Conway said when asked if Trump would call off Republican lawmakers.
“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 Donald Trump can help her heal then perhaps that’s a good thing,” Conway said. “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 aren’t among them.”
It was a shift from the race, when crowds at Trump rallies frequently chanted “lock her up.” Trump himself called Clinton’s conduct “illegal” and said during a debate that she would “be in jail” if he became president.
FBI Director James Comey said in July that Clinton and her aides had been “extremely careless” in their handling of sensitive information on her server but that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring a case. The Department of Justice affirmed his conclusion.
The issue exploded again in October when Comey told lawmakers in a letter that he wanted to examine newly discovered e-mails that appeared related to the case, prompting Trump to tell followers the bureau was preparing to “right the horrible mistake that they made.”
Just two days before the election, Comey concluded in a second letter that the new messages did not alter his conclusion.
After the Nov. 8 vote, the White House declined to rule out issuing a pardon to protect Clinton from prosecution by the incoming administration. Trump ally Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and prosecutor who may join the next administration, saidPresident Barack Obama shouldn’t pardon Clinton and “should leave it to the system we all believe in.”