To underscore his point, Mr. McGahn had White House lawyers write a memo for Mr. Trump warning that if he asked law enforcement to investigate his rivals, he could face a range of consequences, including possible impeachment.
Trump wanted to order Justice Department to prosecute Comey and Clinton By Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman Published 6:36 pm PST, Tuesday, November 20, 2018 WASHINGTON — President Trump told the White House counsel in the spring that he wanted to order the Justice Department to prosecute two of his political adversaries: his 2016 challenger, Hillary Clinton, and former FBI Director James Comey, according to two people familiar with the conversation.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers also privately asked the Justice Department last year to investigate Mr. Comey for mishandling sensitive government information and for his role in the Clinton email investigation.
Trump told the White House counsel last spring that he wanted to order the Justice Department to prosecute Hillary Clinton and Jim Comey. He was warned that he could face impeachment if he did. @nytmike @maggieNYT
Donald McGahn, the then-White House counsel, informed Mr Trump that he had no authority to order a prosecution, and could only request an investigation.
It took on additional significance in recent weeks when Mr. McGahn left the White House and Mr. Trump appointed a relatively inexperienced political loyalist, Matthew G. Whitaker, as the acting attorney general.
It was not clear on what grounds he sought the prosecution, although he has repeatedly attacked Mrs Clinton for her private use of an email server for official government business, and led chants of "lock her up".
Trump told WH counsel Don McGahn that he wanted to order the Justice Department to prosecute 2 of his political adversaries: Hillary Clinton & James Comey
Donald Trump, the US president, wanted the justice department to prosecute his political opponents Hillary Clinton and James Comey, the New York Times has claimed, but had to be informed that pursuing a prosecution would be unwise.
NEW: Trump wanted to order DOJ to prosecute, James Comey, Hillary Clinton, but was rebuffed by lawyer Don McGahn who said it could prompt accusations of abuse of power - per @nytimes
BREAKING: Donald Trump wanted Justice Department to prosecute Hillary Clinton and James Comey -- but was told hed be impeached: report
He warned, however, that requesting an investigation could be deemed an abuse of power, and drew up a memo from White House lawyers explaining the problem with attacking Mrs Clinton and Mr Comey, the former FBI director.
It is unclear whether Mr. Trump read Mr. McGahn’s memo or whether he pursued the prosecutions further.
Yet another warning sign democracy is in trouble, elected official using institutions as weapons against political opponents. Comey pursuit could add evidence obstruction investigation. “Trump Wanted to Order Justice Dept. to Prosecute Comey and Clinton”
Mr Trump raised the issue of prosecutions in the spring of this year, two sources told the paper.
NEW: President Trump told the White House counsel in the spring that he wanted to order the Justice Department to prosecute two of his political adversaries: Hillary Clinton and Jim Comey. @maggieNYT @nytmike scoop
But the president has continued to privately discuss the matter, including the possible appointment of a second special counsel to investigate both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Comey, according to two people who have spoken to Mr. Trump about the issue.
President Trump sought to prosecute Hillary Clinton and James Comey in April. The White House counsel said the move could lead to impeachment.