It is a travesty there is no legal means to hold Trump and his cohorts accountable for their steady stream of blatantly mendacious statements, because it would be the quickest way to put the entire Trump administration out of the nation’s misery. It is particularly noteworthy that Trump’s liars club members are predominately evangelical Christians who violate their bible’s Ninth Commandment at about the same rate normal human beings draw breath.
That applies to the Baptist preacher’s daughter serving as Trump’s press secretary who immediately earned membership in the administration’s liars club before she was “officially” named press secretary. If lying was a crime, Sarah Huckabee Sanders would be in prison along with most of Trump’s Cabinet and the two liars at the top of the administration: Trump and Pence. However, now it appears that one of Huckabee Sanders’s lies could result in a criminal indictment in addition to her violation of a statute in the U.S. Code; both of which could land her in jail if the Department of Justice wasn’t being run by one of Trump’s evangelical serial liars.
It isn’t clear how much of Huckabee Sanders’ lies and statements come directly from the king of the liars Trump, but regardless where they originate, she has waded into trouble twice in the past week and everyone and their dog has noticed.
The latest “federal crime” Huckabee Sanders committed was attempting to influence a private employment decision in calling for an ESPN employee to be fired for telling the truth. That’s how bad it has become in Trump’s America; an administration ‘official’ calling for a private employee to be fired for telling the truth about the liar in the White House.
According to 18 U.S. Code § 227, Huckabee Sanders committed a “federal crime” when she called for ESPN anchor Jemele Hill’s firing over an honest-to-dog truthful “Tweet” about the white supremacist Trump. Ms. Hill tweeted on Monday that “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.” It is as an honest and truthful statement as claiming the Sun rises in the East; it was also a personal opinion posted on social media, but freedom of speech is not the point.
18 U.S. Code § 227 says:
“Whoever, being a covered government person, with the intent to influence, solely on the basis of partisan political affiliation, an employment decision or employment practice of any private entity shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than 15 years, or both, and may be disqualified from holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”
Huckabee Sanders certainly violated that federal statute and she rightly earned an ethics complaint filed by the Democratic Coalition whose chairman Jon Cooper said:
“When Sarah Huckabee Sanders called for Jemele Hill to be fired by ESPN, she crossed the line and put herself in dubious legal territory. Even in Donald Trump’s America, there’s still such a thing as freedom of speech. For Sanders to publicly call for the dismissal of a Trump critic is bizarre and disturbing, to say the least. If anyone is to be fired, it should be her.”
She should also face federal criminal charges, and after being convicted they should, as Trump likes to repeat ad nauseam – “lock her up.” That is what the law demands and Trump claims his administration is all about “law and order;” except for him and his criminal administration. Huckabee Sanders will never face any criminal charges because the Trump administration is criminally corrupt. Besides, violating 18 U.S. Code § 227 may be the least of Huckabee Sanders problems going forward.
This week, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), explained on MSNBC that Trump’s Press Secretary likely put herself in legal jeopardy. Senator Whitehouse was referring to three comments on consecutive days about former FBI Director James Comey. Mr. Whitehouse described three of Huckabee Sanders’ statements as “torpedoes” that appear to be an attempt by the Trump administration to influence grand juries convened by the special prosecutor Robert Mueller in the Russia probe.
Mr. Whitehouse said: “If the motivation was to poison the reputation of James Comey with the grand jurors, you have another indictment;” for attempting to obstruct justice. Of course no human being knows “for sure” what was going through Huckabee Sanders’ mind, or what her true motivation was when she telegraphed Donald Trump’s “message to the public.” But it is relatively clear that because she has no official legal standing to “prosecute from the White House press briefing room,” her repeated assertions that James Comey broke the law and should be investigated were a propaganda ploy; almost certainly incited by Trump himself.
On Monday Huckabee Sanders claimed that Comey’s firing was appropriate because “not only did he leak confidential memos, he lied during testimony to Congress.” The next day she continued the White House “prosecutor’s case” again claiming that Mr. Comey’s actions were “improper and illegal” and something the Department of Justice prosecutors should be pursuing. On the following day, she reiterated the Trump “administration’s charges” claiming that “it was pretty clean and clear” that Comey broke the law and he should be prosecuted.
Since Trump announced his candidacy last year, he has regularly called for Americans he doesn’t like to be prosecuted; not because they did anything illegal or untoward, but because he thrives on demeaning the character of his perceived enemies. His campaign made “lock her up” a rallying cry to portray Hillary Clinton as a criminal; it is a classic case of what psychologists call “projection.”
There is really only one reason Huckabee Sanders would spend three consecutive days arguing like a prosecutor to impugn James Comey’s character, and that was to influence both public opinion and the various grand juries Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is rumored to have convened. In legal terms, that certainly qualifies as attempting to obstruct justice and worthy of a federal indictment, as Senator Whitehouse explained.
Obviously, Trump’s Justice Department is not going to pursue charges against Huckabee Sanders for violating 18 U.S. Code § 227 because Sessions is too terrified of Trump and corrupt to do his job. Plus, he is a liar of the first order and is damned lucky he is not serving time for committing perjury under oath before the U.S. Senate; a federal crime worthy of five years in prison and a hefty fine.
Huckabee Sanders may not be as fortunate with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller who is a real prosecutor and is thoroughly investigating obstruction of justice charges against the Trump administration players that Huckabee Sanders became party to. But that investigation is ongoing and hopefully Mr. Mueller added Huckabee Sanders to the long list of Trump administration actors guilty of obstructing justice.
Trump’s entire administration is looking more corrupt by the minute, and it is stunning, really, that Huckabee Sanders is willing to stand in front of the media and implicate herself to protect the criminal in the Oval Office. Maybe it is because she is allegedly a good Christian and considers lying reasonable to preserve the evangelical right’s rubber stamp in the White House. However, what is considered reasonable to a cabal of serial liars and corrupt Republicans is obstruction of justice and illegal in the eyes of the law. Huckabee Sanders deserves to be prosecuted along with her criminal cohorts in the Trump administration and the Trump liars club needs to be locked up to preserve the rule of law and what is left of America’s failing government.