Clinton’s private email use was ‘criminal’, claims Trump

Republican hopeful says Democratic prosecutors are protecting ex-secretary of state

Donald Trump said what Clinton did was “far worse than what General Petraeus did”, referring the former CIA director was sentenced to probation for leaking classified information to a biographer who was also his lover. Photograph: Tamir Kalifa/The New York Times

Donald Trump said what Clinton did was “far worse than what General Petraeus did”, referring the former CIA director was sentenced to probation for leaking classified information to a biographer who was also his lover. Photograph: Tamir Kalifa/The New York Times

 

Donald Trump has pitched into the furore over Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state, saying: “The fact is, what she has done is criminal.”

Investigators this week asked the Justice Department to look into a “potential compromise of classified information” surrounding the private email server, a department official said on Friday. The official said the referral did not relate to possible criminal wrongdoing, despite saying earlier on Friday that it did.

On Saturday, in Iowa, Clinton told reporters she never knowingly sent or received classified information using her private server and did not know what messages were being cited by investigators.

Appearing on CNN on Sunday, Trump said: “I don’t see how she can run. Because if the prosecutors – who are all Democrats by the way, and that’s part of the problem with fairness here, they’re protecting her – but if you had an impartial prosecutor and they were honorable - maybe they are, we’re going to find out - but what she’s done is criminal.”

He also said she had “got rid of the server after getting a subpoena from the United States Congress”.

Trump was pressed by CNN host Jake Tapper about what criminal behaviour he was talking about. “I’m talking about the whole email scandal,” he said. “It’s a scandal. She’s been protected.” He criticised the New York Times for changing a story on the issue and repeated: “What Hillary did was criminal.”

Trump also predicted he would beat Clinton in a head-to-head election. The CNN poll had him losing, 56 per cent to 40 per cent down on the Democratic frontrunner in such a race.

Guardian service