The election may be over and president-elect Donald Trump may be wavering on whether he wants a special prosecutor to investigate former rival Hillary Clinton, but that hasn’t cooled the ardor of congressional Republicans who want to investigate her private email server.
Five House and Senate panels may be planning to continue probing Clinton’s use of a private server during her tenure as secretary of state even though the FBI concluded her actions didn’t rise to the level of criminal conduct.
The House Judiciary Committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight Committee reportedly will “continue to press for answers” though no hearings have yet been scheduled, the Hill reported. The House Science Committee and the Senate Homeland Security Committee previously have investigated the issue and were expected to press ahead.
The email issue dogged Clinton throughout the campaign and resurfaced in the closing days after emails from her server were found on a computer belonging to disgraced former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, who is under FBI investigation for allegedly sexting an underage girl in North Carolina. Weiner is the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s top aide. Abedin shared the computer with Weiner.
FBI Director James Comey announced in July the FBI would not recommend Clinton be prosecuted but called her handling of email extremely careless. After the emails were found on Weiner’s computer, Comey announced Oct. 28 the Clinton investigation would be reopened. He then announced two days before the Nov. 8 election the investigation would be closed again without any new action.
Clinton blamed Comey for her defeat.
During one of their debates, Trump said Clinton should be in jail for her use of the server and promised to ask his Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor to look into the matter if he was elected. On the campaign trail, his supporters regularly chanted, “Lock her up.”
But on “60 Minutes” Sunday, Trump appeared to back off that promise, saying he would “think about it” but had other, more pressing issues on which to focus.
Congressional Democrats have called the congressional investigations a witch hunt.
“After everything our country has just been through — and particularly given that Donald Trump and Paul Ryan have both called for healing our nation’s divisions — I think the American people deserve more from Congress than to continue squandering taxpayer dollars on these baseless Republican accusations and partisan attacks,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., told the Hill.
Cummings suggested the GOP should consider investigating Trump’s finances instead.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who ran for the GOP presidential nomination and then refused to support Trump, Tuesday called for an investigation of “Russia’s misadventures” including the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s emails, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"Were they involved in cyberattacks that had a political component to it in our elections?" Graham asked. If so, Graham said, "Putin should be punished."