Speed Reads

Trump Transition

Trump allies are now threatening Hillary Clinton with prosecution over recount

On Saturday, Hillary Clinton's campaign said it will participate in a recount or audit of the Wisconsin election results being financed by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, and also any recounts Stein requests and pays for in Michigan and Pennsylvania. This apparently set off the series of angry tweets from Donald Trump about Clinton's participation in Stein's "scam" and prompted his baseless assertion that "millions" of illegal voters robbed him of the popular vote. Clinton currently has a 1.7 percentage point lead over Trump, or 2.3 million more votes, giving Trump what The Washington Post's Aaron Blake calls "a historically small mandate."

On Monday, Trump adviser and confidante Roger Stone said on The Steve Malzberg Show that by participating in the recount, "Hillary, I think, increases her chances of prosecution by acting this way." He alleged, without offering any proof, that Clinton or George Soros must be secretly financing Stein's recount. Trump, during the presidential campaign, had repeatedly said he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton's alleged "crimes," but has suggested since the election that he is not interested in hurting the Clintons. "It's just not something that I feel very strongly about," he told The New York Times.

If his supporters and advisers are any indication, Trump became more interested over the weekend. Here's conservative commentator Katie Pavlich, echoing Stone's barely veiled threat:

And Trump transition senior adviser Kellyanne Conway was only slightly more subtle on CNN Sunday, when she responded to a question about Trump's shift on prosecuting Clinton by arguing that Trump has "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."

"It would be a major breach of the Justice Department's traditional independence from the White House for the president to order the prosecution of any individual as a means of political retaliation," notes Politico's Madeline Conway.