Political News

Oakland mayor fires back at Trump: 'I am not obstructing justice'

Posted May 19, 2018 12:24 p.m. EDT

— The mayor of Oakland is firing back at President Donald Trump over his suggestion that the Department of Justice investigate her for obstruction of justice.

"Mr. President, I am not obstructing justice. I am seeking it," wrote Libby Schaaf, the Democratic mayor of the California city since 2015, in an op-ed published in The Washington Post on Friday.

In February, Schaaf issued a public warning for the immigrant communities in her city about impending raids by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in the San Francisco Bay Area, a move that earned her heavy criticism from the Trump administration.

"I wanted to make sure that people were prepared, not panicked, and that they understood their legal rights," Schaaf wrote Friday of her decision back in February.

Schaaf said as mayor, it's her "duty to protect my residents --- especially when our most vulnerable are unjustly attacked."

"As a leader, it's my duty to call out this administration's anti-immigrant fearmongering for what it is: a racist lie," she wrote.

On Wednesday, Trump urged his attorney general to investigate Schaaf for obstruction of justice.

"You talk about obstruction of justice --- I would recommend that you look at obstruction of justice for the mayor, Jeff," Trump said to Attorney General Jeff Sessions during a White House meeting of California state officials and law enforcement officials who are opposed to California's sanctuary city law.

Trump administration officials have repeatedly attacked so-called "sanctuary" jurisdictions and local officials as harboring dangerous criminals. In March, the administration filed a federal lawsuit against California and some of its top officials over policies that limit some cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.

In announcing the lawsuit, Sessions had harsh words for Schaaf.

"Her actions support those who flout our laws and boldly validates illegality," Sessions said. "There's no other way to interpret those remarks."

"So here's my message to Mayor Schaaf: How dare you?" Sessions continued. "How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of law enforcement to promote an open borders agenda?"