With each passing day, yet another current or former member of Donald Trump’s team has been targeted by Congress or by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the investigation into the Trump-Russia scandal. But today we may have seen a first: one member of the Trump administration may have stepped up and volunteered to be targeted for obstruction of justice scrutiny. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders essentially just potentially committed obstruction, or conspiracy to commit obstruction, from the briefing podium.
Huckabee Sanders has begun pushing the false narrative that former FBI Director James Comey lied and perjured himself during his testimony to Congress about the scandal. This has clearly been at the behest of Donald Trump himself, who instructs his staffers what to say from the podium. The intent was apparently to create a distraction in the media, even as Mueller targets the staffers who discussed Comey’s firing with Trump. One little problem for Huckabee Sanders: she took it too far for her own good.
When asked if the Department of Justice should prosecute James Comey for his (imaginary) perjury, Huckabee Sanders replied that it’s something the DOJ should “certainly look at.” So she’s using her position as White House spokesperson to call for false criminal charges to be brought against a witness who was fired by Trump in an attempt at obstructing justice. There is a legal argument to be made that in so doing, she committed obstruction or conspiracy to commit obstruction, by saying this – particularly if Trump instructed her to bring up the topic during the briefing.
So now, even during a week in which Robert Mueller is targeting at least half a dozen Trump advisers in relation to obstruction of justice and the Comey firing, he may have just been handed an angle for pursuing Sarah Huckabee Sanders as well. The goal, of course, is to get them to flip on Donald Trump.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report