Washington: President Trump told his counsel’s office last spring that he wanted to prosecute political adversaries Hillary Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey, an idea that prompted White House lawyers to prepare a memo warning of consequences ranging up to possible impeachment, The New York Times reports.
Then-counsel Don McGahn told the President he had no authority to order such a prosecution, and he had White House lawyers prepare the memo arguing against such a move, AP confirmed with a person familiar with the matter who was not authorised to discuss the situation.
McGahn said Trump could request such a probe but that even asking could lead to accusations of abuse of power, the newspaper said. Presidents typically go out of their way to avoid any appearance of exerting influence over Justice Department investigations.
Trump has continued to privately discuss the matter of trying his longtime adversaries, including talk of a new special counsel to probe both Clinton and Comey, the newspaper said, citing two people who had spoken to Trump about the matter.