White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been on a full-throated defense of the president in the Russia investigation recently. Part of that defense has been ripping the bark off former FBI Director James Comey and his testimony to Congress.
Sanders has implied that Comey might have broken the law by releasing documents to the press that he made as FBI director. In a press briefing last week, Sanders said:
“The memos that Comey leaked were created on an FBI computer while he was the director. He claims they were private property. They clearly followed the protocol of an official FBI document. Leaking FBI memos on a sensitive case, regardless of classification, violates federal laws, including the Privacy Act, standard FBI employment agreement, and non-disclosure agreement all personnel must sign. I think that is pretty clean and clear that that would be a violation.”
Now, Democrats in the Senate believe Sanders may be the next person indicted because of her comments against Comey.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) went on MSNBC earlier this week to declare that Sanders was in jeopardy of having charges brought against her for attempting to align the character of Comey to a grand jury that will ultimately oversee the Mueller investigation. Whitehouse said (emphasis added):
"The three torpedoes that Sarah Huckabee Sanders shot at James Comey, which open up an entirely new avenue in the case for Mueller. There's a statute, 1504 in the obstruction of justice statutes, that talks about attempts to influence grand jurors. So the question for Sarah Huckabee Sanders is, 'Who asked you to do that? Who told you to do that?'
And once you know who it is, you look to their motivation. And if their motivation was to poison the reputation of Jim Comey with grand jurors, you've got another count in the indictment."
You can watch the segment here:
While the accusation seems far-fetched for a member of the White House team whose job it is to defend the president and his decisions, this would not be the first time a White House aide was embroiled in a president's controversy by disparaging a witness.
According to Shareblue:
Note that Clinton White House aide Sidney Blumenthal became enmeshed in a long-running impeachment-era controversy because he was accused of disparaging Lewinsky in a single private conversation after the scandal story broke. At the time, the allegation was treated as scandalous. (Blumenthal denied the charge.)
Yet today, the White House press secretary openly tries to undermine Comey's credibility while he remains at the center of a federal investigation into possible obstruction of justice by Trump and his team.
That's why Whitehouse thinks Sanders is heading for legal trouble.
All in all, a unique line of attack for a Democratic senator.