According to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, the Department of Justice should prosecute former FBI Director James Comey for his “improper” actions while serving as America’s top lawman. Speaking at the White House on Tuesday, Sanders said that his actions as FBI director “were improper and likely could have been illegal.”
When she was asked if President Trump wants DOJ to prosecute Comey, Sanders said that it is “something they should certainly look at.” Sanders said Comey “politicized an investigation by signaling he would exonerate Hillary Clinton before he ever interviewed her or other key witnesses.”
Sanders was referring to new allegations that Comey drafted an “exoneration statement” for Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton weeks before interviewing her during the investigation into her private email server.
Of Comey, Sanders said that the former FBI director, “by his own admission, leaked privileged government information.” Here was an apparent reference to an acknowledgement by Comey during testimony before Congress in June that he leaked a memo about his conversations with Trump to the New York Times. “I think if there’s ever a moment where we feel someone’s broken the law, particularly if they’re the head of the FBI, then I think that’s something [that] certainly should be looked at,” she said.
Her comments came in response to former White House counsel Stephen Bannon, who told CBS News' “60 Minutes” that Trump’s decision to fire Comey was perhaps the worst mistake in “modern political history” because it led to an investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into supposed Russian meddling in the 2016 general election.
However, Sanders said that Trump stands by his decision to dismiss Comey. “The president is proud of the decision that he made,” Sanders said Tuesday. “The president was 100 percent right in firing James Comey. He knew at the time it could be bad for him politically, but he also knew and felt he had an obligation to do what was right.” Sanders added, “He’s very happy with the decision he’s made and I think he’s been fully vindicated."
In her comments on Tuesday, she added to those of Monday in which she accused Comey of providing “false testimony.”
Last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham told Fox News’ Catherine Herridge last week that he wants to bring back Comey to testify to Congress. “This doesn’t add up, and I smell a rat here,” Graham, R-S.C., said. So far, Comey is being examined by two known investigations, including a Hatch Act investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Special Counsel. DOJ’s Inspector General is also examining his handling of the Clinton email investigation, and whether he violated procedures when he announced in July 2016 he was not recommending criminal charges for Clinton.