The President’s criticism is the latest he has lobbed against the department that oversees the top federal law enforcement agencies, following verbal attacks in recent months against key Justice Department officials and the FBI, whose reputation he alleged last month is in “tatters.”
Trump’s latest barb targeting the Justice Department came in a tweet in which he appeared to suggest Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin should face jail time for reportedly including confidential government information in nongovernment personal emails.
“She put Classified Passwords into the hands of foreign agents. Remember sailors pictures on submarine? Jail! Deep State Justice Dept must finally act?” Trump tweeted, apparently referencing a Daily Caller report
Some of Abedin’s emails released Friday by the State Department were marked “confidential” and were heavily redacted by the State Department. One email Abedin forwarded to her personal email account from her State Department account included passwords for a two-step laptop login process, though that email was not marked classified
as Trump claimed.
Asked about Trump’s tweet, the Justice Department declined to confirm or deny the existence of an ongoing investigation.
The FBI has previously said that a number of Abedin’s documents were backed up on the laptop of her estranged husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner, and that some smaller number were manually forwarded. In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee last May, the FBI said, “Although we do not know the exact numbers, based on its investigation, the FBI believes it is reasonable to conclude that most of the emails found on Mr. Weiner’s laptop computer related to the Clinton investigation occurred as a result of a backup of personal electronic devices, with a small number a result of manual forwarding by Ms. Abedin to Mr. Weiner.”
Then-FBI Director James Comey testified last year that “Somehow, her emails were being forwarded to Anthony Weiner, including classified information by (Clinton’s) assistant, Huma Abedin,” he said.
But there was no indication that Abedin “had a sense that what she was doing was in violation of the law,” Comey added, and investigators couldn’t prove any sort of criminal intent.
While Trump suggested Tuesday that the Justice Department should prosecute Abedin, reviving calls for further investigation of Clinton and her associates’ use of private email during her time as secretary of state, Trump last week said in an interview that he has purposefully stayed “uninvolved” with the email investigation.
“What I’ve done is, I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department. But for purposes of hopefully thinking I’m going to be treated fairly, I’ve stayed uninvolved with this particular matter,” Trump told The New York Times
in an interview last week.