- Former Bush Attorney General and Clinton critic Michael Mukasey hit Trump for his remark that Clinton "would be in jail" if he were president
- Mukasey said Trump's threat "would be like a banana republic"
Mukasey, who served as the nation's top law enforcement officer under President George W. Bush, told the Washington Post in an interview
Monday that "it would be like a banana republic" if Trump followed through on his threat at Sunday night's debate.
"Putting political opponents in jail for offenses committed in a political setting, even if they are criminal offenses -- and they very well may be -- is something that we don't do here," Mukasey said.
Trump brought up apparent speeches Clinton made to Wall Street leaders released by Wikileaks, and repeated his calls to prosecute her at a Pennsylvania rally Monday.
"During a speech, crooked Hillary Clinton, oh she's crooked folks, she's as crooked as a three dollar bill. Here's one, just came out. Lock her up is right," Trump said in response to supporters' chants.
Mukasey has forcefully criticized Clinton related to her use of a private email server as Secretary of State. He argued that she could have been criminally convicted in a Wall Street Journal op-ed in January
, titled "Clinton's Emails: A Criminal Charge is Justified."
But Mukasey expressed discomfort with Trump's line of attack during the second presidential debate. While he maintained his belief that there is a legal case against Clinton, he cautioned against using the law to further political ends.
"If we were arguing policy here rather than straight law, I would argue against bringing charges," he said. "The notion of carrying out prosecutions to pursue a political agenda, that's something that should never happen."
The former Republican official's remarks echoed those of another former Attorney General, Democrat Eric Holder, who blasted Trump in a storm of tweets on Sunday for the threat.
"So @realDonaldTrump will ORDER hi AG to take certain actions- when Nixon tried that his AG courageously resigned. Trump is dangerous/unfit."
Mukasey's remarks also make him the second high-profile Clinton critic in recent days to come to the Democrat's defense amid escalating attacks from Trump. In a recent interview with Bloomberg News
, Michael Chertoff -- a lead lawyer during the Clinton Whitewater investigations and a former secretary of Homeland Security under Bush -- said he was backing Clinton for president over Trump.