Trump-ordered DOJ investigation into Hillary Clinton goes out with a whimper. Now what?

Trump-ordered DOJ investigation into Hillary Clinton goes out with a whimper. Now what?
Hillary Clinton image via Shutterstock.

It was October 9, 2016. Candidate Donald Trump  at the second presidential debate promised – and threatened – Hillary Clinton that if he became president she would go to prison.


“It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country,” a grinning Secretary Clinton on stage told the audience.

“Because you’d be in jail,” a grimacing Trump gloated.

It was such a stunning moment, a gut punch to American democracy and presidential politics. We don’t investigate our political opponents and presidents don’t promise – or threaten – to lock them up.

It was cheered by the far right, and to this day extremists celebrate the anniversary of those horrific words.

One month later to the day, in the wee hours of the morning, the news networks would call the election for Trump, despite Clinton winning the popular election by nearly three million more votes.

Less than one year in to office, President Donald Trump used the power of social media to lie repeatedly about his former political opponent, and forced his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, to open an investigation into Clinton.

There were no grounds. She had been investigated before by the FBI and cleared. She had been investigated before by Congress multiple times and cleared. She had sat before Congress for 11 hours in a sham Benghazi hearing (one of many sham Benghazi investigations by Republicans on Capitol Hill), and even the top Republican announced at the end of that grueling day – during which Clinton performed, some said brilliantly – that they had learned nothing new.

Sessions’ investigation cast a big net, as The Washington Post reported Thursday.

Attorney General Sessions directed John Huber, the U.S. attorney in Utah, in November of 2017 to, as the Post details, review “a wide array of issues related to Clinton. They included the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One matters, along with the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state and alleged leaks by former FBI director James B. Comey.”

“Your recommendations should include whether any matters not currently under investigation warrants the opening of an investigation, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources or further investigation, and whether any matters would merit the appointment of a Special Counsel,” Sessions told Huber.

More than two years later the investigation is concluding.

It has found nothing – ending “with no tangible results,” the Post notes, because there was never any “there” there.

Both current and former “law enforcement officials said they never expected the effort to produce much of anything.”

The cost to taxpayers is unknown.

The cost to Clinton’s reputation can be guessed, given also that the investigation is ending in silence.

There will be no FBI Director holding a press conference clearing Clinton. There will be no Attorney General apologizing. There will be nothing but yet another failed attack on Hillary Clinton, millions more of the taxpayers’ dollars taken from the Treasury’s coffers, all to prop up an actual political witch hunt and conspiracy theories that have made Republicans and the conservative media rich.

The beneficiaries, of course, are President Trump and the GOP, who have raised countless fortunes from suckered voters certain that “Crooked Hillary,” as Trump has called her – on Twitter alone – 379 times, is guilty.

She is not.

What happens next?

Nothing.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.