On Friday, CNN reported that White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed she has indeed been interviewed by prosecutors working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller:
“‘The President urged me, like he has everyone in the administration, to fully cooperate with the special counsel. I was happy to voluntarily sit down with them,’ Sanders said in response to a question from CNN.”
However, it should be noted that the White House did not originally grant permission for the special counsel’s team to speak with Sanders:
“The White House did not immediately agree to grant the special counsel an interview with Sanders, according to one of the sources. Similarly, as CNN reported in December, White House lawyers initially objected to Mueller’s request to interview (former White House chief of staff John) Kelly, who ultimately responded to a narrow set of questions from special counsel investigators.”
Why would Mueller want to speak with Sanders? It’s likely the interview focused on statements the press secretary made from the podium in defense of the president during the Russia investigation. Of particular interest is the misleading public statement crafted aboard Air Force One regarding why Donald Trump Jr. met with Russian nationals at Trump Tower in June of 2016.
That meeting, according to former U.S. Attorney for Alabama Joyce Vance, could have serious repercussions for Sarah Sanders. Vance said Friday afternoon on MSNBC that it’s “completely unsurprising that Sarah Huckabee Sanders has found herself at least a witness in this investigation.” Vance added that it’s entirely possible Sanders is a “subject or target” of the investigation. She continued:
“As a prosecutor, I would want to question her and determine whether she was sent to the podium with the cover-up story as though it were truth, essentially sent out as a victim to peddle lies like so many others in this administration have been, or if she was part of formulating the cover-up. If she was involved in formulating the cover-up, or heard any conversation about creating a story, she’s become a very important witness.”
And if Sanders had a hand in crafting those lies as they relate to the Russia probe, she could be charged with obstruction of justice, which carries a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison.
Looks like Sarah Sanders could be on the verge of finding out the hard way that lying — even to the media she so reviles — has tremendous consequences.