A longstanding Donald Trump ally and Republican strategist has claimed Hillary Clinton is more likely to face criminal prosecution under the President-elect’s administration because she is supporting a recount of votes in battleground states.
“I think Hillary increases her chances of prosecution by acting this way,” Roger Stone said on “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.
Former Green Party nominee Jill Stein called for a recount in Wisconsin and Pennsylvannia and is reportedly planning to request one in Michigan.
The Clinton campaign announced on Saturday it would support the drive to recount votes.
General counsel for the campaign Marc Elias said that while it had not yet found evidence of sabotage, the campaign felt “an obligation to the more than 64 million Americans who cast ballots for Hillary Clinton”.
“We certainly understand the heartbreak felt by so many who worked so hard to elect Hillary Clinton,” Mr Elias said, “and it is a fundamental principle of our democracy to ensure that every vote is properly counted.”
In the run-up to the election, Mr Trump vowed to appoint a special prosecutor to go after Ms Clinton. But since winning the vote he has indicated he has little interest in doing so, saying earlier in November he would rather not "hurt" the Clinton family.
And the FBI has twice recommended against bringing charges against the Democrat for her use of a secret email when she was Secretary of State.
If the property tycoon were to order the prosecution of Ms Clinton when he entered office as a means of political retaliation, it would be a major breach of the Justice Department's independence from the White House.
Yet Mr Trump's senior adviser, Kellyanne Conway, has also connected the issue of the recount with the potential prosecution of Ms Clinton.
She told CNN: “He’s been incredibly gracious and magnanimous to Secretary Clinton at a time when, for whatever reason, her folks are saying they will join in a recount to try to somehow undo the 70-plus electoral votes that he beat her by."
During his TV interview on Monday, Mr Stone also accused the left of being hypocritical for ridiculing Mr Trump's complaints of voter fraud before the election and then claiming the vote was rigged after the result.
“They crucified Donald Trump because he wouldn’t say unilaterally he would support the winner of the election until he knew whether there’d be fraud and inappropriate voter manipulation,” he said.
“Now, the shoe is suddenly on the other foot. Now suddenly, [Green Party presidential nominee] Jill Stein, who couldn’t raise two cents, has now raised $5.5 to $7 million.“
Mr Stone – a long-serving Republican strategist who first rose to prominence under President Richard Nixon – told the broadcaster “we have to presume” the money funding the Ms Stein’s drive for a recount either came from billionaire business magnate George Soros, or from Ms Clinton.
Mr Stone did not support his claims with any evidence.
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