Judicial Watch, the outfit that has spent years attacking Hillary Clinton over various scandals real or imagined, disclosed its plans for Clinton should she be successful in getting elected.
The group, which is currently in litigation with the federal government over Clinton’s emails, announced on Wednesday that it will push to have the Democratic nominee impeached if she is elected.
“You’re going to still have a clamor for a serious criminal investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s conduct with respect to her emails and the [Clinton] Foundation,” Judicial Watch’s president, Tom Fitton, told NBC News. “There’s been no systematic investigation of various issues.”
He continued, “I know this generation of Republican leaders is loath to exercise these tolls, but impeachment is something that’s relevant. They see [the oversight process] as an opportunity in some measure to keep their opponents off-kilter, but they don’t want to do the substantive and principled work to truly hold corrupt politicians or the administration or anyone accountable.”
Clinton’s impeachment was also floated when allegations emerged that the FBI and State Department had engaged in a ‘quid pro quo’ to reclassify one of Clinton’s emails. House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that “a senior State Department official’s attempt to pressure the FBI to hide the extent of this mishandling bears all the signs of a cover-up. This is why our aggressive oversight work in the House is so important, and it will continue.”
House Republicans have already signaled that should Clinton be elected president, they plan on conducting a continuous string of investigations and hearings into Clinton. And the daily drip of hacked emails from WikiLeaks, Clinton’s email server, and pay for play allegations about the Clinton Foundation, they believe, provide them with plenty of fodder.
In August, for example, more than 50 House Republicans urged the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether Clinton Foundation donors had unusual access to the former Secretary of State. The lawmakers argued, “The facts as they have been reported surrounding the Clinton Foundation warrant an investigation that is beyond reproach and beyond any appearance of political favoritism. Appointing a special counsel is a necessary step at this juncture.”
Similarly, former presidential hopeful and Texas Senator Ted Cruz has called for a “serious criminal investigation” into a Democratic operative who was featured in a sting video by conservative activist James O’Keefe. And Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the likely chair of the House Oversight Committee, told Fox News last week that the ‘quid pro quo’ claim alone was worth at least “four new hearings,” as he claimed it was a “flashing red light of potential criminality.”
As a matter of strategy, Republicans have a lot of incentive to continue attacking Clinton after the election as it would not only slow down the Democrats’ agenda, but it would help unify their party, at least, until they figure out how to settle the deep divisions that Trump has further incited.
“I do think being a check on Clinton is an important objective to unite the party and get control of Congress back in 2018,” said Republican strategist Tim Miller, who has been a vocal critic of the Republican nominee and who also has directed opposition research against Clinton.