The White House on Tuesday said the Justice Department should consider a criminal prosecution of former FBI Director James Comey, claiming he had leaked privileged information to the press and offered false testimony to Congress.
“It’s something they should certainly look at,” press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters when asked whether the administration should prosecute Comey. She acknowledged that it was “not the President’s role” to determine which criminal investigations are taken up by the Justice Department.
The question arose as Sanders defended Trump’s decision to fire Comey earlier this year, a choice Trump’s former chief strategist called a mistake this week.
Speaking to “60 Minutes” on CBS, Steve Bannon called the Comey decision the worst mistake in “modern political history.”
Sanders countered that Trump has been “very happy with the decision” to fire Comey and felt “fully vindicated.”
Trump abruptly fired Comey in May, initially explaining his decision as a response to Comey’s handling of an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server. Later Trump suggested the firing was actually a response to the FBI’s investigation of Russia’s election year meddling.
Comey told lawmakers during congressional testimony this year that Trump had pressured him to drop the investigation. Trump has denied he ever made such a request.
Sanders suggested those remarks to Congress, along with Comey’s directed leaks of his memos to reporters, could be grounds for prosecution. She said legal action should be considered for what she described as Comey’s fireable actions.
“If there’s ever a moment where we feel that a person has broken the law, particularly if they’re with the FBI, that’s something that should be looked at,” she said.