“I don't think they will be disappointed”
In a move that could greatly disappoint his base but is likely to be welcomed by the public at large, President-elect Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that he won’t pursue any potential investigation of Hillary Clinton tied to her use of a private email server while Secretary of State.
“It’s just not something that I feel very strongly about,” Trump said in an interview with the New York Times. “I'm not looking to go back and go through this.”
There’s already some unrest for voices on the far right. Ironically, Brietbart News, which was run by Trump’s incoming senior adviser Steve Bannon, was quick to call the announcement a “broken promise” of his campaign promise to “lock her up,” a mantra that was repeated at a number of rallies by Trump surrogates. Trump himself directly brought up the idea of prosecution during his second debate with Clinton, saying that he were to become president, she would be “in jail.” The comment created a firestorm of criticism from legal experts who noted that it was unprecedented for an American presidential candidate to directly threaten their opponent with legal repercussions stemming from an election victory.
The conservative group Judicial Watch, a longtime nemesis of the Clintons, also condemned the news.
“President-elect Trump should focus on healing the broken justice system, affirm the rule of law and appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Clinton scandals,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.
Nonetheless, Trump said he’s not worried about his base getting too upset about the move.
“I don't think they will be disappointed. I think I will explain it that we in many ways will save our country,” he told the Times, arguing that pursuing a prosecution “would be very, very divisive for the country.”
News that Trump was backing off his earlier threats to prosecute Clinton came Tuesday morning when his spokesperson Kellyanne Conway argued that Trump wanted to use the transition period to help Clinton and her allies “heal” after the shocking election defeat.
“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.