President Trump has called on the Department of Justice to investigate his Democratic political opponents.The Washington Post calls it “a breach of the traditional executive branch boundaries designed to prevent the criminal justice system from becoming politicized.” Trump urged federal law enforcement to “do what is right and proper” by launching criminal probes of presidential rival Hillary Clinton and her party, a surprising use of his bully pulpit considering he had acknowledged that presidents are not supposed to intervene in such decisions.
Trump claimed there was mounting public pressure for new Clinton probes, including over her campaign’s joint fundraising agreement with the Democratic National Committee that effectively gave her some control over the party’s finances, strategy and staffing before the primaries began. Trump invoked Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Ma.), who said she believed the Democratic primaries were rigged in Clinton’s favor based on details of the arrangement in a book by former DNC interim chair Donna Brazile. Using his pejorative nickname for Warren, Trump tweeted: “Pocahontas just stated that the Democrats, lead [sic] by the legendary Crooked Hillary Clinton, rigged the Primaries! Lets [sic] go FBI & Justice Dept.” The president directing a particular investigation — especially of a former political rival — would be viewed by most officials in law enforcement as improper.