The president had told the White House counsel at the time, Don McGahn, of his desire to prosecute the two, to which he was rebuffed. McGahn told the president he had no authority to order a prosecution and said that while he could ask for an investigation, that could initiate accusations of abuse of power, as well.
According to the Times, “To underscore his point, Mr. McGahn had White House lawyers write a memo for Mr. Trump warning that if he asked law enforcement to investigate his rivals, he could face a range of consequences, including possible impeachment.”
The president allegedly continued to privately discuss the possibility of an investigation even after McGahn stepped down from his position on October 17. The Times reports that the President even discussed the possible appointment of a second special counsel to investigate Clinton and Comey and has also expressed his disappointment in FBI Director Christopher Wray for “failing to more aggressively investigate Mrs. Clinton, calling him weak…,”
McGahn, through his attorney William Burck, has denied that the President ever asked him to investigate, telling the Times, “Like any client, the president is entitled to confidentiality. Mr. McGahn would point out, though, that the president never, to his knowledge, ordered that anyone prosecute Hillary Clinton or James Comey.”