One of the sillier post-debate comments comes from Nicholas Burns of Harvard’s Kennedy School, who tweeted: “Threatening to jail a political opponent is anti-democratic and anti-American.”
Donald Trump did memorably say that Hillary Clinton “would be in jail” if he were president; but what he actually vowed to do was appoint a “special prosecutor” to look into Mrs. Clinton’s “situation” — by which he was obviously referring to the e-mail scandal.
This is manifestly not a case of banana-republic criminalization of politics. Trump was not threatening to go after Clinton because she has the temerity to oppose him politically. He was committing to have a special prosecutor investigate Clinton for mishandling classified information, destroying government files, and obstruction of justice — criminal misconduct that has nothing to do with being a political adversary of Trump’s, and for which others who commit similar felonies go to jail.
The Obama administration investigated Mrs. Clinton, at least ostensibly, for over a year. Is Professor Burns saying a politician should only be investigated by her political allies and may otherwise violate the law with impunity?