Does this beat four years of Supreme Court nominations when it comes to choosing the nominee for the Republican Party? Ted Cruz has to hope so. Stumping through Florida, Cruz told Sean Hannity at a rally interview to be broadcast tonight that if Barack Obama and Loretta Lynch aren’t up for prosecuting Hillary Clinton in the e-mail scandal, he certainly will be:
Appearing during an Orlando rally that also served as an interview to air on Fox News’s “Hannity,” host Sean Hannity asked Cruz if he’d continue to go after Clinton.
“Let’s say that the FBI makes a criminal referral to the Justice Department and it is ignored. And you become president, the statute of limitations had not passed — would you aggressively go after Hillary Clinton if the FBI believes she committed felonies?” Hannity said.
“Absolutely yes, and there is a principle here that matters,” Cruz said.
“This country was founded on the principle that no one is above the law, and whether it is the Clintons or whether it is some in the Republican Party who think they are above the law, that the law doesn’t apply to them, that’s not how it works.”
With Cruz, voters would get both — conservative SCOTUS picks and a Hillary prosecution to boot. That’s almost certainly true of Marco Rubio as well, and John Kasich, but would either be true of Donald Trump? Cruz has already attacked Trump for a lack of depth in judicial philosophy and for his continued support for the Clintons over the years. This is a subtle reminder from Cruz that his prime competitor is a lot more cozy with the Washington power structure than he is.
Speaking of which, has Hannity asked this question of Trump?
Of course, there are a couple of caveats to this, the biggest of which is that a federal grand jury or the FBI would have to produce a referral first. Cruz knows this too, and Hannity’s careful to preface it that way. Otherwise, this would look much more like a president using the prosecutorial power of the DoJ to punish political enemies. Just as Obama and Lynch need a clean way to ignore the scandal through a lack of referral, a President Cruz would need a clean way to pursue it through a non-political process. Otherwise, both look like abuses of power.
The question may be moot anyway. John wrote earlier about Bryan Pagliano’s “devastating” testimony in the FBI investigation after the DoJ granted him immunity, and that should have Hillary very concerned about her immediate future. Assuming this Fox report is true, Pagliano’s immunity indicates that he’s not a reluctant witness, but just one who knows he’s in too deep for his own good. That doesn’t necessarily guarantee that Hillary face an indictment down the road, but it certainly puts it on the table in a much more substantial manner than previous. If that comes before a President Cruz can take the oath of office, so much the better — but that depends on the same conditions set in the first question: a criminal referral from the FBI or a grand-jury indictment.