Former President Trump told his White House counsel to direct the Justice Department to prosecute Hillary Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey, according to excerpts from a new book obtained by Insider.
Insider reported that the revelation comes from The New York Times’s Peter Baker and The New Yorker’s Susan Glasser in their new book, titled “The Divider,” which came out this week.
"At one point in the spring of 2018, Trump instructed [former White House Counsel] Don McGahn to direct [former Attorney General Jeff] Sessions to prosecute Clinton and Comey and, if the attorney general refused, said he would do it himself as president," Baker and Glasser wrote, according to Insider.
"McGahn had to explain that the president had no such power,” the book continues.
Clinton and Comey were two common foes of Trump during his presidency.
The ex-first lady and Secretary of State lost to Trump in the 2016 presidential election, and Trump fired Comey as FBI director as the agency investigated Trump campaign officials for possible ties to the Russian government.
The former president has continued to publicly lash out at the two figures.
Despite the well-known public criticisms, Baker and Glasser’s book provides new insight into Trump’s attempts to pursue Clinton and Comey.
"You can't prosecute anybody," McGahn told Trump, the authors wrote, Insider reported.
According to Insider, the book states McGahn subsequently produced a memo to Trump explaining how leveraging his role as president to prosecute his political enemies would be illegal, also comparing such actions to those taken by dictators.
"Congress could seek to 'impeach and remove' the president if it concluded that he abused the power of intervening in a criminal matter,” McGahn wrote in bold and italics for emphasis, according to the book as reported by Insider.
The Hill has reached out to a Trump spokesperson for comment.