Republican Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.) has fired back at President Trump’s calls for the Justice Department to investigate his former political rival, Hillary Clinton.
“President Trump’s pressuring of the Justice Department and FBI to pursue cases against his adversaries and calling for punishment before trials take place are totally inappropriate,” Corker said in a statement.
He added that the president’s remarks “not only undermine our justice system but erode the American people’s confidence in our institutions.”
Like me, most Americans hope that our justice system is independent and free of political interference. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/R4WrhSPQz3
— Senator Bob Corker (@SenBobCorker) November 3, 2017
The president on Friday told reporters that he was “disappointed” in the Justice Department for not investigating Clinton.
“I’m really not involved with the Justice Department. I’d like to let it run itself, but honestly, they should be looking at the Democrats,” he said.
“At some point the Justice Department, and the FBI, must do what is right and proper,” Trump tweeted.
Corker countered Trump’s attacks by saying the Justice Department should be “independent.”
“Like me, most Americans hope that our justice system is independent and free of political interference,” he said.
During a radio interview Thursday, Trump said he was “very sad” that he could not intervene and pressure the Justice Department to investigate Clinton.
WMAL’s Larry O’Connor asked the president why he had not yet fulfilled his campaign pledge to jail Clinton, a pledge that he repeated at his campaign rallies as he led the audience with chants of “lock her up!”
“But you know the saddest thing, because I’m the president of the United States, I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department. I am not supposed to be involved with the FBI,” he explained. “I’m not supposed to be doing the kinds of things I would love to be doing and I’m very frustrated by it.”
“Why aren’t they going after Hillary Clinton with her emails and with the dossier, and the kind of money?” Trump asked. “I don’t know, is it possible that they paid $12.4 million for the dossier? And how was it – which is total phony, fake – and how was it used?” he continued.
“And you know, it’s very discouraging to me, I’ll be honest, I’m very unhappy with it, that the Justice Department isn’t going,” Trump went on.
“Now, maybe they are, but as president, and I think you understand this, as a president you are not supposed to be involved in that process,” he continued.
“But hopefully they are doing something and at some point maybe we’re all going to have it out,” Trump said.
In her recent memoir, What Happened, Clinton admitted that Trump’s threats to jail her caused her deep concern after he won the November 8 election.
“In my head, I heard the vicious ‘Lock her up!’ chants that had echoed through Trump’s rallies,” Clinton wrote. “In our second debate, Trump had said that if he won, he’d send me to prison. Now he had won. I had no idea what to expect.”
When Trump held a campaign rally in Alabama in late September, crowds chanted “lock her up.”
Trump told the crowd, “You’ve got to speak to Jeff Sessions about that.”