As you likely recall, Oakland’s Democratic mayor, Libby Schaaf, made plenty of headlines when it was revealed that she had taken on the role of 5-0 lookout and warned all of the illegal aliens in her city of an impending ICE raid. Since then, the story has failed to fall down the memory hole, partly because the Mayor couldn’t seem to stop talking about it herself. This led President Trump to suggest that the Attorney General might want to look into some obstruction of justice charges.
One might think that Schaaf would take the hint at this point, keep her head down and possibly even lawyer up. No such luck. She instead took the opportunity to publish a new op-ed at the Washington Post, not only repeating her previous claims of innocence but attacking the President and ICE yet again.
Mr. President, I am not obstructing justice. I am seeking it.
The president takes issue with a tweet I posted in February in which I notified residents of an impending raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the Bay Area, including Oakland. I wanted to make sure that people were prepared, not panicked, and that they understood their legal rights.
I did this for people such as Maria Mendoza-Sanchez, who immigrated to the United States from Mexico 24 years ago . She learned English, earned a degree and worked as a nurse in the cancer ward of Oakland’s public hospital. She and her husband, Eusebio, raised four children and bought a home.
If you bother to read the entire thing, Schaaf goes on at length, pointing out one of the more sympathetic stories of illegal aliens being deported and slamming the White House for enforcing immigration law. She doubles down on accusations of racism, jumping on the disproven claim that Trump recently called all immigrants “animals.” She paints herself as the hero of the immigrant community, defending them against a tyrant.
What Schaaf never quite gets around to doing is explaining precisely how she didn’t obstruct justice. This tired old line about it being her duty to ensure people were “prepared, not panicked” has long since worn thin. If the feds are closing in on some organized crime figures and a local official tips them off so they will be “prepared,” that official would be in a jail cell in short order. All illegal aliens without some sort of recognized government exemption, regardless of where they fall on the ICE deportation priority list, are subject to detention, investigation and possible deportation at any time.
And we’re not just talking about obstruction of justice here. The Mayor could easily be seen as potentially facing federal charges for having run afoul of Title 8, Chapter 12, dealing with harboring certain aliens. This statute covers anyone who, “knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien…”
With all that in mind, what would prompt Schaaf to publish something like this? There’s a lot of reshuffling going on in the ranks of California elected officials this year. Does Libby Schaaf see herself as something of a hero to the #RESIST movement with an eye on an office higher up the food chain than Mayor of Oakland? It’s certainly a message which sells well in the municipal centers of the Sanctuary State. Don’t be shocked if you start seeing her name bandied about for a seat in the legislature or even Congress.