On the campaign trail, Donald Trump appeared to be as eager as anyone to see Hillary Clinton and her State Department underlings prosecuted for mishandling classified material. But several conservatives, including the Republican in charge of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, are now casting doubt on the president’s commitment to investigating Clinton’s crimes.
Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton, who is engaged in a lawsuit against the State Department over the release of Clinton’s emails, told Fox News that it was disheartening to realize that the Trump administration was still fighting the request.
“For the State Department and DOJ lawyers to still say their position is what the Obama administration’s was is not good,” said Fitton. “The default position of the bureaucracy is secrecy, and in terms of partisanship, it’s to protect Mrs. Clinton.”
President Trump has said several times that he would prefer to move on from the subject of Hillary Clinton, even going as far as to praise her publicly for her service to the country on Inauguration Day. And while he doesn’t have the final say in which investigations House Republicans or the Justice Department pursue, his reluctance to press the matter is certain to filter down the ranks.
This has caused some frustration on Capitol Hill, where Rep. Jason Chaffetz is eager to get his investigation moving along. In an interview with Fox News, Chaffetz warned the White House and the State Department against hindering his inquiry.
“We need to understand the gravity of this,” he said. “There is a reason the State Department, years after, is still holding off on giving us documents. The more they want to hold them, the more curious we are about what’s in them.”
Chaffetz said the government could pat themselves on the back for releasing thousands of Clinton’s emails, but it really didn’t mean much in terms of transparency.
“Agencies like to brag about how many thousands of documents they’ve given us, but it’s not about the count,” he said. “It’s about getting 100 percent of them.”
It’s disappointing to see the Trump administration continue to stonewall this investigation, but it’s entirely possible that this has flown completely under the president’s radar. Don’t forget: he’s still working with a skeleton crew at many agencies, and the people who are there include many Obama holdovers secretly hostile to his agenda.
In terms of White House priorities, we can see how the Clinton investigation would not be at the top. That said, you can’t tell voters for a year that your opponent should be in jail and then say, “Nah, it’s all good” without a little bit of pushback. Clinton’s gross negligence was bigger than the 2016 election, and the American people still deserve to know the truth.