President Donald Trump suggested on Wednesday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions consider prosecuting Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf for “obstruction of justice” because she warned illegal immigrants in February about potential Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids.
During a White House roundtable event with elected officials and law enforcement officials from California who oppose the state’s sanctuary laws, Trump said, “You had a thousand people together, many of them were illegals, criminals… and she informed them and they all fled.”
“They all fled, or most of them fled. And that whole operation that took a long time to put together,” Trump said. “You talk about obstruction of justice. I would recommend that you look into obstruction of justice for the mayor of Oakland, California, Jeff.”
Trump continued: “[Schaaf] advises thousand people… they’re told ‘get out of here, the law enforcement’s coming.’ And you worked on that long and hard and you got there and there were very few people there. To me that’s obstruction of justice and perhaps the Department of Justice can look into that, with respect to the mayor, because it’s a big deal out there, and a lot of people are very angry about what happened.”
Trump added that “there’s a lot of hard work and a lot of danger involved” in immigration enforcement and Schaaf’s alert “was a terrible thing.”
ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan previously said that Schaaf acted like a “gang lookout yelling ‘police’” and added that at least 800 illegal immigrants were possibly not detained because of Schaaf’s warning.
Schaaf, though, has insisted on multiple occasions that she did not break the law or endanger law enforcement officials.
In March, before Sessions announced that the Trump administration was suing California over three of its sanctuary laws, Breitbart’s Joel Pollak asked Sessions in an exclusive interview about a potential Justice Department investigation into Schaaf’s actions:
Breitbart News: The number one question people on social media wanted me to ask you was: will the Justice Department be taking action against Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who warned illegal aliens in the Bay Area of ain impending ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] enforcement action and who has said she would be prepared to go to jail to protect her city’s status as a “sanctuary”jurisdiction. I know the acting director of ICE said there was a DOJ investigation into her. Can you comment on that? What are the prospects of that, going forward?
Sessions: I believe that the mayor made a colossal error in her statement that placed the safety of our federal law officers at risk, and that increased the likelihood that hundreds of serious criminals would avoid arrest and continue to remain on our streets, posing a risk to the people of the Bay Area. And we are in communication with [Acting ICE] Director [Thomas] Homan, and we look forward to reviewing the facts as they present them to our attorneys. But I couldn’t comment beyond that.
On Wednesday, Schaaf tweeted that she was headed to D.C. to get funding for affordable housing and homeless services and was “#NotObstructing.”