WH on Whether Trump Would Encourage DOJ to Prosecute Comey: ‘That’s Not the President’s Role’

By Melanie Arter | September 12, 2017 | 7:28pm EDT
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Screenshot of White House video)

(CNSNews.com) - The White House said Tuesday that it’s not President Donald Trump’s role to encourage the Justice Department to prosecute former FBI Director James Comey for potential false testimony - it’s the job of the DOJ “and something they should certainly look at.”

“You said that the actions of James Comey could have been illegal. You, the other day, referred to potential false testimony. The DOJ is not commenting, but I would put to you, would the president encourage the DOJ to prosecute Comey?” NBC White House Correspondent Hallie Jackson asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.


“That's not the president's role. That’s the job of the Department of Justice, and something they should certainly look at,” Sanders said.

“Is that something you'd like to see?” Jackson asked.

“I'm not sure about that specifically, but I think if there's ever a moment where we feel someone has broken the law, particularly if they're the head of the FBI, I think that's something that certainly should be looked at,” Sanders responded.

As CNSNews.com previously reported, Sanders said Monday that the president was justified in firing Comey.

“I think that it has been shown in the days that followed that the president was right in firing Director Comey since the director’s firing, we’ve learned new information that only provided further justification for that firing, including giving false testimony, leaking privileged information to journalists,” Sanders said at the time.

“He went outside of the chain of command and politicized an investigation into a presidential candidate. I think the president’s been very clear about his position on that front. He’s very pleased with the new director and has full confidence in him to fully restore and lead the FBI,” Sanders added.

A reporter asked Tuesday whether Sanders was encouraging the DOJ to investigate Comey for leaking information.

“Earlier, you referenced two things about the former FBI Director, James Comey. First you said, the leaking of information likely could have been illegal. You went on to say, something that could be looked at. Are you encouraging -- is this White House encouraging the Department of Justice to investigate the former FBI Director, James Comey, for leaking information?” the reporter asked.

“No. As I told Hallie, this is anybody that breaks the law. Whatever that process is that needs to be followed should certainly be looked at. If they determine that that's the course of action to take, then they should certainly do that, but I'm not here to ever direct DOJ into actions that they should take,” Sanders said.

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