This reeks of a typical practice in authoritarian regimes

Trump tried to get Sessions to Lock Her Up.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions had a tenuous hold on his job when President Trump called him at home in the middle of 2017. The president had already blamed him for recusing himself from investigations related to the 2016 election, sought his resignation and belittled him in private and on Twitter.

Now, Mr. Trump had another demand: He wanted Mr. Sessions to reverse his recusal and order the prosecution of Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Mueller’s report released last week brimmed with examples of Mr. Trump seeking to protect himself from the investigation. But his request of Mr. Sessions — and two similar ones detailed in the report — stands apart because it shows Mr. Trump trying to wield the power of law enforcement to target a political rival, a step that no president since Richard M. Nixon is known to have taken.

Remember when he threatened that in one of the debates? And how much shock-horror there was?

Mr. Trump wanted Mrs. Clinton investigated for her use of a private email server to conduct government business while secretary of state, the report said, even though investigators had examined her conduct and declined to bring charges in a case closed in 2016.

And even though Trump’s own Princess Ivanka was using a private server to conduct government business while daughter of president with job as senior adviser.

By trying to have Mrs. Clinton prosecuted, Mr. Trump was following through on a campaign promise. At rallies, he often stood on stage denouncing her as crowds chanted, “Lock her up!”

“This reeks of a typical practice in authoritarian regimes where whoever attains power, they don’t just take over power peacefully, but they punish and jail their opponents,” said Matthew Dallek, a political historian and professor at George Washington University.

Beyond Mr. Mueller’s report, there is evidence that Mr. Trump has continued to try to push the Justice Department to bend to his wishes. He told the White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II in April 2018 that he wanted the Justice Department to prosecute Mrs. Clinton and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, two people familiar with the conversation have said.

It was unclear from the report whether Mr. Trump appreciated the difference between using his power to target Mrs. Clinton and trying to insulate himself from law enforcement scrutiny, Mr. Buell noted. It is more likely, he said, that Mr. Trump simply viewed the Justice Department and the F.B.I. as institutions that worked for him.

“All of his demands fit into a picture that he believes the apparatus is mine,” Mr. Buell said.

Mr. Trump has kept up the public lashings of law enforcement officials and Mrs. Clinton. “There are no Crimes by me at all,” he wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “All of the Crimes were committed by Crooked Hillary, the Dems, the DNC and Dirty Cops — and we caught them in the act!”

“I’m not the mob boss, they’re the mob boss!!”

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