Trump suggests 'Deep State Justice Dept' jail Clinton aide over emails
President Donald Trump suggested Tuesday that a longtime aide to 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton belongs in prison because of classified information found on her husband’s laptop, prompting questions from critics about how far he is willing to press what he considers his “absolute” authority over the Department of Justice.
“Crooked Hillary Clinton’s top aid, Huma Abedin, has been accused of disregarding basic security protocols. She put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act? Also on Comey & others.”
Trump appeared to be referring to a Daily Caller report mentioned on “Fox and Friends” Tuesday positing that emails Abedin forwarded to her Yahoo account could have been obtained by hostile foreign actors who breached hundreds of millions of users.
Following a lawsuit by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, the State Department last Friday released copies of emails found on a laptop belonging to Abedin’s estranged husband Anthony Weiner during a probe of Weiner’s sexting with an underage girl.
The existence of the emails was first made public less than two weeks before the 2016 election when then-FBI Director James Comey revealed the investigation of Clinton’s email practices was being reopened. Comey later announced the emails found on the laptop had not changed investigators’ decision not to recommend charges in the case.
Several of the emails released Friday were redacted due to sensitive and classified information. Abedin had told investigators she sometimes forwarded emails to her personal account in order to print them.
One email Abedin sent to her Yahoo account in 2009 included passwords for her State Department laptop. The Daily Caller notes that 500 million Yahoo accounts were allegedly hacked by a Russian intelligence operative in 2014, though there is no evidence Abedin’s was one of the accounts accessed. All three billion Yahoo users were impacted by a separate breach in 2013, but investigators have not determined who was responsible for that.
Though Trump’s tweet seems to demand Abedin be imprisoned, she has not faced any criminal charges. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders did little to clarify the president’s position.
“Obviously, the facts of that case are very disturbing and I think the president wants to make clear that he doesn’t think anybody should be above the law,” she told reporters at a press briefing Tuesday.
Trump also referred to a Navy sailor, Kristian Saucier, who was sentenced to one year in prison and thr