Lock Her Up? The American People’s Case Against Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Looks Strong



The sanctuary state of California just can’t keep itself from escalating the lawless insanity to new heights.  Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf had already said that she was willing (and maybe even eager) to go to jail to defend illegal aliens and her city’s extreme sanctuary policies that protect them.  She should get her chance.  By now the whole country knows that on February 24, she tweeted a warning to illegals that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was about to conduct targeted operations directed at criminal aliens in the San Francisco Bay Area.

President Trump rightly called Schaaf’s actions “a disgrace.”  Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked her, “[h]ow dare you needlessly endanger the lives of our law enforcement officers to promote a radical open border agenda?”  And Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan, who has been calling for the criminal prosecution of sanctuary city officials for months, said “[w]hat she did is no better than a gang lookout yelling police.”  The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) is reviewing the possibility of filing criminal charges against her.  But do they actually have a good case?

Yes. There are several federal criminal statutes that her actions appear to have likely violated.  The first is the so-called alien “smuggling” statute, which makes it a crime for “[a]ny person 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 in any place.”  Under this law, a defendant faces up to five years in prison “for each alien” [emphasis added]who is the subject of the crime.  Since Schaaf’s warning may have led to “about 800” illegal aliens escaping from arrest by ICE, that certainly could add up to a lot of time for her, if she was found guilty.

Another charge that might fit the evidence could be Obstruction of Justice, specifically 18 U.S. Code Section 1505.  Unlike some of the other sections of the Obstruction chapter, this section doesn’t require that a court already be involved for the defendant’s action to be a crime: DOJ only has to prove that a defendant “impede[ed]or endeavor[ed]to influence, obstruct, or impede” a “proceeding” before a federal department or agency.  It might not apply to all the illegal aliens who Schaaf’s warning managed to scatter, but it probably does apply to any of them who’ve previously been in immigration proceedings, especially if they’ve already been ordered deported.  ICE indicated that in May 2016 there were more than 950,000 of these so-called immigration fugitives on the run who’ve already received such orders. Thus, it is a virtual certainty that among who responded to the mayor’s tip-off and fled were fugitives from justice.

And then there’s the conspiracy statute, which would require DOJ to prove Schaaf first agreed with someone to commit either or both of the two crimes above, and then did “any act” to further that agreement.  The act was obviously the tweet itself.  Although Schaaf says she relied on “unofficial sources,” there’s nothing in the law that says that matters.  It doesn’t even matter whether the government knows, or can prove, who the agreement was made with, just that it was made.  Conspiracy indictments charge that defendants conspired with “persons known or unknown” all the time.

None of this means a conviction is ever guaranteed, of course: in the age of the Kate Steinle verdict, you never know what a jury might do even when the evidence of guilt is overwhelming.  But it looks like there’s more than enough that it’s worth trying.  The rule of law practically demands it.

About Author

avatar

Dave joined FAIR in 2017 after more than ten years as an Assistant State Attorney in Broward County, Florida. His prosecutorial experience covered trial litigation at the misdemeanor and felony levels, drug court and mental health court, and two years as an intake attorney in the juvenile division working closely with law enforcement. Before this, he was a legislative analyst/staff attorney with the Judiciary Committee of the Florida House of Representatives, where he assisted state legislators in ensuring the effectiveness and constitutionality of legislation on a wide variety of subject matter. In both capacities, he often dealt with the interaction of state law and immigration. Dave holds BAs in History and International Relations from American University and a JD from Tulane University Law School.

23 Comments

  1. avatar

    Johnpm
    William, What being Jew Has anything to with what she did.
    You sound like a BIGOT. Are you?

  2. avatar

    America will soon be hell if we do not do anything to those idiots who so called government officials, politicians…who are willing to sacrifice our legall citizen’s lives, safety and peace for those intruders interest! I wonder where they (the officials) came from?

    • avatar

      Lock this liberal jew ***** up and make the sentence a harsh one! Follow up with Oakland’s neighbor San Francisco. The lliberal bastards and basically ‘communists’ running this once great, clean, affordable and liveable city and a crown jewel in California have destroyed it ard are running it into the ground and now it’s become an overrayed, overpriced dirty, disgusting, bum infested crime ridded CRAPHOLE, sad to say!

      • avatar

        Lock this liberal jew ***** up and make the sentence a harsh one! Follow up with Oakland’s neighbor San Francisco. The lliberal bastards and basically ‘communists’ running this once great, clean, affordable and liveable city and a crown jewel in California have destroyed it ard are running it into the ground and now it’s become an overrated, overpriced dirty, disgusting, bum infested crime ridded CRAPHOLE, sad to say! I’ve lived here 30+ years and it’s gotten inyolerable: crime going through the roof, ‘boat people and homelessness encampments everywhere, piss and **** on the streets and sidwalks, crappy and failing infrastructure, along with a crappy local economy and general mailaise! The sad thing; the fools here who continue to believe the lies and BS these public officials spew like diarrhea of the mouth in this once great claen and beautiful city and one of the mnost expensive urban areas in the US,sad to say!

  3. avatar

    The “California Values Act” is an attempt to nullify federal law. If allowing foreign criminals to prey on your state’s residents is one of California’s “values”, it is no wonder that Americans are leaving the state.

  4. avatar

    Libby going to jail is a far better choice than harboring dangerous criminals over citizens that pay the taxes and deserve protection.

  5. avatar

    It appears that the vast majority of our government officials operate on the Good Old Boy plan. You know, you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. They whine about whatever the opposition does but nobody gets indicted or goes to jail unless dozens of citizens have video of the crime being committed. Even then they might skate like Hillary. Anyone who has dealt with classified information knows that she committed hundreds of felonies and any normal citizen would be in Leavenworth Federal Prison if they did the same things that Hillary has. The media makes Russia and other places sound so corrupt, but our government has its share of corruption.

  6. avatar
    Don Richardson on

    The feds should just do like Mueller, indict her and do everything possible to make her legal expense more than she can afford.

    • avatar

      Inevitebly the other liberal thieves running Californa into the ground with their ‘socialist’ agenda; ‘nasty nancy pelosi, dianne feinstein, gavin mr. ‘sanctuary city’ San Francisco newsome and jerry ‘the clown’ brown will get up on television and ask to contribute to her legal defense. At least i’m vocal and I’d bet there’re are thousands of ‘silent’ Californians who feel the samr way. End ‘sanctuary cities’ and this BS of ‘sanctuary state’ IMMEDIATELY!

  7. avatar
    Barbara Johnson on

    As shown above this mayor of Oakland California broke several laws I think she should be tried in another state by a fair federal judge. California has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is no longer capable of having a fair trial in the state. Kate Steinle is of course a prime example of how unfair and cruel California has become. I would not trust a judge in California ever again after that debacle of injustice. Take this idiot of a woman down and let her know she may think she was so noble when she did let the criminals know a good 24 hours ahead of time to vanish into the population but in the course of doing that she may wind up behind bars with not the most savory of criminals.

    • avatar

      “or let’s move on…,” that’s it, ignore her lawlessness! Do you seriously think they’re aren’t working on something. Let’s just move on? Why don’t we just ‘move on’ from the fake persecution of President Trump, then?

    • avatar

      Totally agree. This case has dragged on too long already. She should have been locked up weeks ago.

  8. avatar

    It’s pretty clear. ICE was ready to go after these people, many who had crimes beyond illegal entry, including felonies, and she warned them to elude the authorities.She helped them evade, flee, avoid, whatever words you can come up with, and they avoided capture and she enabled their further crimes against American citizens. All this is against clearly written and explicit law.

  9. avatar

    She’ll skate, because Jeff Sessions is gutless. First step is to find out who within the DOJ or DHS leaked plans for the roundup. That person needs to be prosecuted, too.