Trump Wants FBI To Investigate Hillary Clinton Despite, Um, Everything

by Hannah Golden
Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The president was proven unshakable on Friday, Nov. 3 as he tweeted again and again about his former opponent. In a series of tweets, Donald Trump keeps asking why Hillary Clinton isn't being investigated. Trump has long been calling for the Department of Justice to turn up the heat on her. So why isn't she the subject of an FBI probe?

Trump appears to have been set off by a new book released by Donna Brazile, the former interim chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), in which she claims that candidate Clinton took control over the party during the campaign, pushing out her Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders from the primary.

So let's go through the issues to review why, exactly, Clinton isn't being investigated, as Trump keeps calling for.

The Emails

If you had to choose one all-consuming issue that Trump has railed on since before the 2016 election, it is Clinton's use of a private email server while Secretary of State under President Barack Obama. On Oct. 24, almost a full year after their party's candidate won the election, House Republicans announced they'd opened an investigation into the matter, although that investigation is looking into the Department of Justice's handling of the investigation. Whew.

A quick refresher: In the summer of 2016, the FBI, then led by James Comey, had looked into Clinton's personal server usage of some 30,000 emails, and found that while her actions were "extremely careless," no charges were necessary. But tables turned when, on Oct. 28, 2016, Comey announced via a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committe that he would be reopening the case after his agency had found additional emails. The letter sank Clinton in the polls.

During the campaign, Trump routinely claimed that Clinton had destroyed 33,000 emails, which isn't quite correct. When asked to hand them over, Clinton's team turned in all but about 33,000 of the emails, which they said were personal.

There was also the hacking of these 30,000 emails from Clinton and her team, including campaign manager John Podesta, which WikiLeaks made public in a searchable database in March 2016. But, well, you don't exactly get investigated for getting hacked, and the emails did not reveal anything worth investigating.

American Deaths In Benghazi Attack

A terrorist attack at a U.S. military outpost in Benghazi, Libya in September 2012 left four service members dead, including one American ambassador. Clinton was serving as Secretary of State at the time. Another of Trump's talking points during the 2016 election, Benghazi became a buzzword in which Clinton's opponents attempted to place the blame for the attack on her.

Because the attack was regarded as a planned terrorist attack in a dangerous area, some argued officials could've done more to prevent it. Though some in the GOP pointed fingers at Obama and Clinton, House Republicans released a report in June 2016 clearing her of any wrongdoing for this attack. After 17 months' of GOP-led investigations, this one's pretty much investigation'ed out.

DNC Funding

Brazile wrote in an excerpt of her book published by Politico on Nov. 2 that Clinton made a deal with the committee that "compromised the party’s integrity." The deal was a Joint Fund-Raising Agreement (JFA), and Bernie Sanders signed one with the DNC as well, allowing either candidate to accept donations beyond the normal individual contribution limit of $2,700. With this ceiling lifted, Clinton took in some contributions in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Sanders apparently never made use of his JFA, instead accepting small donations, and in April 2016 his team publicized the fundraising efforts of Clinton as a point of differentiation between the two candidates.

So the fact that Clinton was out-raising her opponent in the DNC was hardly a secret, and the JFA was actually reported in 2015. But, this week, Trump is calling foul on the agreement.

Getting to Trump's point about whether this is something the FBI could investigate: In short, there wasn't a law broken, at least as Brazile sees it, so there's not much to investigate. She writes in Politico,

The funding arrangement with HFA and the victory fund agreement was not illegal, but it sure looked unethical. If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party’s integrity.


During the 2016 campaign, Trump regularly railed on Clinton's involvement in the Uranium One deal, whereby a Russian company was given stake in a Canada-based company performing U.S. uranium extraction. Though Trump liked to blame Clinton for giving up the U.S. uranium rights — and as of Friday, he's still on it — that's not the case. Only the president, per federal guidelines, has the power to intervene in a decision like this.

It was revealed recently that the DNC and Clinton's team funded the infamous dossier released earlier this year that drew connections between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. Clinton's people have billed this as run-of-the-mill opposition research vis-a-vis a firm. While people are conflating the dossier with the meetings Trump's team is said to have taken with Russian nationals for the promise of "dirt" on Clinton during the campaign, the latter is a much shadier arrangement involving a foreign government.

Despite all this, Trump has been at it for days clamoring for investigations against his old opponent. This is taking place amidst developments in the FBI investigation into his own campaign — three former campaign staffers have been charged by Robert Mueller's team, and more are said to be coming down the pike.