Sean Hannity on Wednesday outlined a series of actions for Trump staffers to take if subpoenaed by Robert Mueller. They're substantially similar to the elements of a felony.
“Delete your emails, acid-wash your emails and hard drives on the phones, take your phones and bash them with a hammer to little itsy-bitsy pieces, use BleachBit, remove SIM cards, then take the pieces and hand them over to Robert Mueller,” Hannity said on his Fox News show while discussing Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the U.S. election.
That lines up rather nicely with 18 U.S. Code § 1519, which defines as a felony anyone who "alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States."
Hannity's advice followed news that Mueller had requested that witnesses in the Russia investigation turn in their phones for his team to inspect encrypted messages.
Hannity’s suggestion that witnesses destroy evidence could be charitably deemed at least partially tongue-in-cheek, as he referenced Hillary Clinton’s email scandal during his rant on the show. The again, he references the email scandal on most shows, and tampering with evidence can come with a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
Still, it's probably advice Trump’s disgraced former campaign manager Paul Manafort wishes he had followed — Mueller this week accused him of tampering with witness testimony and has recommended that Manafort be sent to jail as he awaits trial. Manafort is currently on house arrest under charges that he failed to disclose foreign lobbying, and bank fraud.
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