Sally Yates Blasts Trump For Pressuring The Justice Department To "Go After" Hillary Clinton
One day after he again publicly pressured the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate Hillary Clinton, Sally Yates blasted President Trump in a tweet on Saturday morning. The former acting attorney general demanded that Trump stop asking the DOJ to go after people he doesn't like, tweeting: "DOJ not a tool for POTUS to use to go after his enemies and protect his friends. Respect rule of law and DOJ professionals. This must stop."
On Friday, Trump had sent off a series of tweets expressing frustration that the DOJ was not investigating Hillary Clinton for incidents that Trump thinks warrant a closer to look. The president referenced a new book by former interim chairperson for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Donna Brazile, which purports to outline how Hillary Clinton and her camp allegedly enjoyed significant sway within the DNC leading up to the 2016 election.
"...New Donna B book says she paid for and stole the Dem Primary," Trump tweeted on Nov. 3. "What about the deleted E-mails, Uranium, Podesta, the Server, plus, plus..." He continued in a second tweet, "....People are angry. At some point the Justice Department, and the FBI, must do what is right and proper. The American public deserves it!"
In subsequent tweets, Trump accused Clinton of "stealing" the primary from Democratic opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom he also called "Crazy Bernie."
Later on the same day, just before embarking on a 10-day trip to Asia, Trump told a group of reporters that he was disappointed in the Justice Department:
"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. They should be looking at Podesta and all of that dishonesty. . . And a lot of people are disappointed in the Justice Department, including me.”
But Friday wasn't the first time this week that Trump lamented inaction by the DOJ. In an interview on the Larry O'Connor Show, the day before Trump sent off his tweet storm about Clinton and the DOJ, Trump explicitly said he was frustrated that he can't be involved with DOJ and FBI investigations:
"...Because I am the President of the United States, I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department. I’m not supposed to be involved with the FBI. I’m not supposed to be doing the kind of things I would love to be doing and I am very frustrated by it."
He went on to admit that he was discouraged by the DOJ's lack of action. He described himself as "unhappy about it," but added that "hopefully they are doing something."
Trump's complaints about the DOJ come as tensions mount over a special counsel investigation into whether, or to what extent, Russia may have interfered in the 2016 election. Earlier in the week, on Monday Oct. 30, Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort was officially indicted on illegal money laundering charges. Manafort's former business associate Rick Gates was also indicted with the same charges. (Manafort and Gates have both pleaded not guilty.)
Manafort and Gates weren't the only ones facing indictments on Monday, either. George Papadopoulos, formerly a foreign policy adviser on the Trump campaign, was reported to have secretly pled guilty months ago to lying to the FBI, and is currently said to be cooperating with the investigation.
After this news broke, Trump took to Twitter Monday to deny that his campaign worked with Russia to influence the election. "....Also, there is NO COLLUSION!" he tweeted.
So, after starting the week with a series of campaign-related indictments (and hearings on Russian propaganda on social media), Trump ended five days of negative headlines by pointing to the opposite political party, arguing that his campaign may not have been the only one to engage in questionable practices. Still, the so-called Mueller probe, named after the special counsel hired to oversee an FBI investigation into potential Russian interference, continues.