According to American Oversight, a directive from the former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was discovered ordering a federal prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton.
The document, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, was a letter dated November 2017 from Jeff Sessions to U.S. Attorney for Utah, John Huber. It has never been released to the public. A November 2018 declaration claimed that no directive insisted, and all instructions to Hubert had been given verbally.
During his 2016 campaign, Trump demanded that there be an investigation of Hillary Clinton. Trump and his supported repeatedly called for Clinton to be prosecuted, using the verbiage- “Lock her up.”
“’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.”
Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote to former House Judiciary Committee Chair Robert Goodlatte on November 13, 2017 to tell him that Sessions had instructed federal prosecutors to investigate issues raised by the congressman in past letters. Goodlatte had formally written, calling for a second special counsel to investigate Clinton, the Uranium One sale, the the FBI’s handling of the Clinton case.
The newly uncovered documents reveal that on November 22, 2017 Sessions told Hubert to review the matters from Boyd’s letter. Sessions also asked that he make recommendations about a new investigation or a second special counsel.
The DOJ swore that there were no written directives of this nature and all of Huber’s instructions had been given verbally. On February 28, 2019, the department reversed its position and told the court that it located the documents.
“It strains credulity to believe that the Justice Department didn’t know about this letter when they swore under penalty of perjury that it didn’t exist — you don’t exactly forget about a formal directive to investigate Hillary Clinton signed by Jeff Sessions,” said Evers. “The fact that they only ‘found’ it the same week Matthew Whitaker was heading for the exit makes it hard to see DOJ’s previous denial as anything but a deliberate attempt to conceal the extent to which President Trump’s authoritarian demands were being put into action.”
The case remains in active litigation.