House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff suggested Sunday that the White House pressed federal authorities to investigate allegations of corruption against the Clinton Foundation, the charity of former President Bill and Hillary Clinton.
“If they are investigating Hillary Clinton, it doesn’t take a genius – let alone a ‘stable genius’ – to see why,” Schiff said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” referring to President Donald Trump’s tweet Saturday that he’s a “very stable genius.”
“It’s not because some new evidence has come to light,” Schiff added. “It’s because they’re being badgered by the White House to do it.”
The FBI and federal prosecutors are looking into whether foundation donors were improperly promised policy favors or special access to Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state and whether tax-exempt funds were misused, an official told CNN.
It’s unclear precisely what, if any, new evidence ignited the current federal investigation after initial inquiries had stalled prior to the 2016 election.
The Justice Department declined to comment to CNN, citing a general policy of not confirming or denying the existence of active investigations. The US attorney’s office in Arkansas declined to comment.
Schiff added that he believes other probes, including the Justice Department’s evaluation of issues raised by House Republicans in their investigation into alleged ties between the Clinton Foundation and the Obama-era Uranium One deal, are “a nod to the White House,” tainting the independence of the Justice Department.
Pressed for evidence on the connection between the Clinton Foundation investigation and the Trump White House, Schiff cited Trump’s tweets.
“This is a response to the President’s tweets, his admonitions, his badgering. I’m not going to ignore the plain reality of this, because it’s going on,” Schiff said. He added: “And, as I said, you don’t have to be a genius to see this, and you don’t have to be a cynic to see this. The Justice Department is taking these actions as a direct result of this lobbying campaign by the White House.”
CNN’s Laura Jarrett and Evan Perez contributed to this report.