President Donald Trump sought to use the Department of Justice to prosecute political enemies, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
Specifically, Trump sought to target former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former F.B.I. director James Comey.
Then-White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II reportedly “rebuffed” the president.” McGahn has since left the administration.
“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,” The Times reported. “The encounter was one of the most blatant examples yet of how Mr. Trump views the typically independent Justice Department as a tool to be wielded against his political enemies.”
The White House declined to comment.
“Perhaps more than any president since Richard M. Nixon, Mr. Trump has been accused of trying to exploit his authority over law enforcement,” The Times noted. “Witnesses have told the special counsel’s investigators about how Mr. Trump tried to end an investigation into an aide, install loyalists to oversee the inquiry into his campaign and fire Mr. Mueller.”