In the run up to Thanksgiving Day, I think we all need to give thanks to whatever entity we choose, including good old-fashioned luck, for the year 2023. It’s the year that Donald Trump was indicted four times on 91 criminal counts. Think of that! And for a bonus, it could also be the year that an emerging scandal will eventually cause Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be criminally indicted as well. For grand theft, obstruction of justice and documents manipulation.
I’m referring to what is quickly coming to be known as “Lecterngate.” If you missed what that is, permit me to give you a brief recap.
Back in June, Sarah went on a lavish trip to Paris, France. She went with two friends, Virginia Beckett and Hannah Stone. Beckett is owner of Beckett Events, LLC. Hannah Stone is a planner of the January 6 insurrection.
Ostensibly, in June Sarah also bought a lectern from Beckett’s company for the state of Arkansas using taxpayer money. After all, we know how much Sarah loves to lecture reporters from behind lecterns!
Trouble is, the lectern cost a little more than $19,000. Trouble is, Beckett’s company doesn’t sell lecterns. Trouble is, nobody can find the lectern that Sarah allegedly “bought.” Trouble is, Sarah ordered that the invoice for the lectern be doctored in September — long after the purchase — with a deliberately undated note to indicate that the cost of the lectern would be reimbursed. Trouble is, Sarah refuses to show anyone the lectern. Probably because it doesn’t exist.
All Sarah can do now is point reporters to a photo of a lectern that purports to be the one she bought. It’s allegedly a photo of a “Falcon” brand custom made lectern. Trouble is, the Falcon company says the photo is of a cheap imitation of one of their products, and in any case, the most expensive custom made lectern that the Falcon company makes costs about $4,500, not $19,000.
When he first learned about this “purchase,” Arkansas lawyer and blogger Matt Campbell made a series of public records requests. It was he who first blew the whistle on Sarah and her nefarious purchase.
So, talk about closing the barn door after the horse had escaped, Sarah is now pushing for legislation that would deter people like Matt Campbell from making requests for public records in the first place! That is so her, don’t you think?
But Matt Campbell will not be deterred. He keeps bringing lawsuits for more documents. Which brings me to his latest find.
The latest document Mr Campbell found is a bill of lading from the administrative services division of the State of Arkansas. The bill of lading is dated August 4, 2023, two full months after the alleged purchase! Apparently the bill of lading is for an entirely different lectern that somebody is trying to pawn off as the notorious Falcon lectern. The trouble is that the container this new lectern came in is way too small to accommodate the dimensions of the originally “purchased” Falcon lectern.
I don’t think we need to be coy anymore about this. I think it’s all pretty clear by now. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a millionaire, stole the money from the state of Arkansas so she could party with her friends. When Matt Campbell went snooping around, Sarah oversaw the manipulation of documents to cover up her theft, including this latest manipulation, using a bill of lading for a different lectern to make us believe it was for the original one she bought, the supposed “Falcon” lectern.
Sarah clearly has much to hide, and she wants all this to go away. Sarah also lied to reporters and arrogantly refused to use the alleged lectern, or even show it to them, scolding the reporters (as only Sarah can scold) that if she used the lectern it would be all they would write about.
Now, I want you to remember something, brothers and sisters. Arkansas routinely ranks between 45th and 50th — at or next to last place — in every single state resource from education to emergency services to public services. Like Kentucky and Mississippi it’s one of the poorest states in the United States. The people of Arkansas can’t afford a $20,000 lectern, let alone one that doesn’t exist. The people of Arkansas deserve better than to have a millionaire governor steal money from them and use that money to go swanning off to Paris with her friends.
I want to be clear on something else. Ever since she took over the job of Donald Trump’s press secretary I have hated Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I have hated her arrogance, her self-anointed superiority, her lies and the condescending way she belittles people who catch her in her lies.
Sarah Sanders is a disgusting, hateful, little person, a make-believe “Christian,” an elitist asshole. And now she is also a loathsome criminal and a thief. I would very much like to see her go to prison. And I think that “Lecterngate” is only the beginning of her scandals. We shall see. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.