Donald Trump’s campaign threat to appoint a special prosecutor to go after Hillary Clinton may still be in play, according to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a vice chairman on Trump’s presidential transition team.
“That’s a tough one, George, it really is,” Giuliani told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday. “As a lawyer, I hate to use the ‘on the one hand, but the other,’ but on the one hand, you don’t want to disrupt the nation with what might look like a vindictive prosecution, even though it might not be. On the other hand, you want equal justice under the law, and if she has violated the law ― you know, the FBI never completed the [Clinton] Foundation investigation. That’s, as far as I know, that’s still an ongoing investigation. They completed the email investigation, but not the Foundation investigation.”
Giuliani said that would ultimately be a decision for the next attorney general ― a position that he didn’t rule out vying for himself.
“Exactly what you do with that, I guess the next attorney general is going to have to figure that out. I don’t know if that will be me or not, but the next attorney general would have to figure that out,” he said, before suggesting the wisest move might be to pass the matter off to an independent counsel, or to table it altogether.
“And I’m going to make a guess, not a definitive statement, I would think if you had to make a decision like that, you’d give it ― you’d give that to an independent counsel. You wouldn’t make it as the appointee of the new president. We have a lot of precedence for that; we’ve done that in the past,” Giuliani said. “Or maybe that you want to sort of put that behind you. I don’t know, that’s a tough decision.”
In an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” Sunday, Trump himself did not rule it out either.
“I’ll tell you what I’m going to do, I’m going to think about it,” he said, adding that he “will give you a very, very good and definitive answer the next time we do ‘60 Minutes’ together.” But he said of the Clintons: “I don’t want to hurt them. They’re good people.”
Other GOP officials sounded less interested in continuing to go after Clinton. Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) said his agenda doesn’t involve an investigation of Clinton. “I leave that portion to law enforcement,” he told “Fox News Sunday.”
Giuliani also addressed Trump’s business holdings, advising the president-elect to put them into a blind trust.
“For the good of the country, and the fact you don’t want a question coming up every time there’s a decision made, he should basically take himself out of it, and just be a passive participant in the sense that he has no decision-making, no involvement,” he said.
Trump had floated the idea of letting his children oversee his businesses, which wouldn’t qualify as a blind trust.
But in a separate appearance Sunday on CNN, Giuliani argued that such a setup wouldn’t be a conflict of interest.
“First of all, you realize that those laws don’t apply to the president, right?” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “The president doesn’t have to have a blind trust. For some reason when the law was written, the president was exempt. I think he’s in a very unusual situation. He would basically put his children out of work and they’d have to go start a whole new business.”
This article has been updated to include Trump’s “60 Minutes” appearance.