President Trump’s top spokesperson said Tuesday that federal prosecutors should consider bringing a case against former FBI Director James Comey.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a press briefing Tuesday that it’s up to the Justice Department to prosecute Comey, but said the move “should be looked at.”
“I think if there was ever a moment where we feel someone has broken law, particularly if they are the head of the FBI, I think that’s certainly something that should be looked at,” Sanders said.
It is unusual for the White House to advise the Justice Department on what cases to examine. Sanders said that she’s “not here to ever direct DOJ into actions.”
Earlier this year, Comey testified before Congress that he arranged for his personal memos about his conversations with Trump to be shared with news outlets to ensure that a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election campaign.
Later, news reports claimed that Comey decided against recommending Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton be prosecuted for mishandling classified information before he interviewed Clinton or other key witnesses in the case.
Both have given political ammunition to Trump and Republicans to claim that Comey abused his position as FBI director.
Trump fired Comey in May, but the move has caused enormous political problems for the White House. It is believed that special counselor Robert Mueller is looking into whether Trump fired Comey in an effort to block the investigation into possible improper contacts with Russia by people in Trump’s campaign.
Trump’s former chief strategist Stephen Bannon called Comey’s firing the biggest mistake “in modern political history” in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday.
“The president is proud of the decision that he made,” Sanders said. “The president was 100 percent right in firing James Comey. He knew it could be bad for him politically and felt he had an obligation to do what was right for the American people and men and women at the FBI.”
“I think there is no secret Comey, by his own self-admission, leaked privileged government information weeks before President Trump fired him. Comey testified that an FBI agent engaged in the same practice would face serious repercussions,” Sanders said. “His actions were improper. He leaked memos to [The] New York Times. He signaled he would exonerate Hillary Clinton before interviewing her. He is very happy with the decision he made.”