prosecute-hillary

Not Prosecute Hillary? Why Is Trump Holding Back?

Despite Donald Trump’s repeated promises to investigate and prosecute Hillary Clinton, now we hear he won’t pursue charges.

This summer, over ninety percent of Americans believed the justice system should prosecute Hillary Clinton. Now, Kellyanne Conway is telling us that Donald Trump will not prosecute Hillary.

According to the New York Post,

President-elect Donald Trump won’t subject Hillary Clinton to a criminal inquiry — instead, he’ll help her heal, his spokeswoman said Tuesday.

“I think when the president-elect who’s also the head of your party … tells you before he’s even inaugurated he doesn’t wish to pursue these charges, it sends a very strong message, tone and content, to the members,” Kellyanne Conway told the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” who first reported that the president-elect would not pursue his campaign pledge to “lock up” Clinton, his Democratic opponent.

“Look, I think, he’s thinking of many different things as he prepares to become the president of the United States, and things that sound like the campaign are not among them,” Conway, who is now on the Trump transition team, said in her interview.

She continued: “I think Hillary Clinton still has to face the fact that a majority of Americans don’t find her to be honest or trustworthy, but if Donald Trump can help her heal, then perhaps that’s a good thing.”

Seriously? “Healing” the nation has nothing to do with helping Hillary Clinton “heal.” Many people who voted for her believed she was a criminal. Now that she lost the election, they probably would be glad to see her convicted and sentenced for at least some of her crimes.

As much as I’d like to let bygones be bygones, such an action doesn’t seem possible in this case. Hillary Clinton represented a person who was above the law. There is an ex-general being prosecuted severely because the Justice Department is trying to recover its reputation from refusing to prosecute Hillary.

Letting Hillary Clinton “heal” will affirm that justice is only for some and not for everyone.

On the other hand, as far as I know, Conway is the only one who was given this message. At the time I write, Donald Trump has not addressed the issue in a public venue. As much as I admire Conway, she may not have the full story. Trump may be making conciliatory statements because he has now learned that the investigation is ongoing. He knows others are going to act and he wants to make sure it isn’t perceived as a personal vendetta.

I’d like to think that is what is going on. Time will tell.

Another possibility is that Trump has made an agreement with the Clintons in exchange for something he needs to pursue his agenda. He may have bargained to keep them from obstructing his plans in some way. If so, we’ll probably never learn the nature of the agreement. This would be unfortunate because some will assume that Trump did it because he is legally vulnerable himself. I don’t think this is true, but refusing to prosecute Hillary might be seen as a sign that he fears prosecution himself.

It is good for Trump to be forgiving. But we need to all be equal under the law.

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Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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