“American Oversight has uncovered the signed directive from former Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructing a federal prosecutor to carry out President Trump’s authoritarian demand to investigate Hillary Clinton.
The document, obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation by American Oversight, is a formal, November 2017 letter from Sessions to U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber and has never before been released to the public. In a sworn declaration filed in November 2018 in response to American Oversight’s lawsuit, the Justice Department had insisted that no written directive existed and that all guidance to Huber had been delivered verbally.
Trump has repeatedly tweeted demands for DOJ to investigate Clinton. Throughout the 2016 presidential general election campaign and at multiple rallies after taking office, Trump and his supporters have used the rallying cry “Lock her up” to call for the prosecution of Clinton.
“’Lock her up’ was wrong at campaign rallies, and it’s even worse coming from the Department of Justice,” said Austin Evers, American Oversight executive director. “Even after this long, it’s still deeply shocking to see the black-and-white proof that Jeff Sessions caved to President Trump’s worst authoritarian impulses and ordered a wide-ranging investigation of his political opponents based on demands from Congress instead of the facts and the law.”
On November 13, 2017, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote to former House Judiciary Committee Chair Robert Goodlatte informing him that Sessions had directed “senior federal prosecutors” to evaluate issues the congressman had raised in previous letters. Goodlatte had written to Sessions calling for the appointment of a second special counsel to investigate Clinton, the Uranium One sale, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s handling of the inquiry into Clinton’s use of a private email server.”
Lock them all up.