One Tweet Too Many: Trump NFL Threat May Have Violated Federal Law (Video)

It appears as though President Donald Trump may have inadvertently broken yet another law.

But who’s counting?

There’s an increasing threat of nuclear confrontation with North Korea; white nationalism is playing out in America’s streets; Trump is ignoring the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria; special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia is every day getting closer to handing down indictments; Senate Republicans tried once again to revoke health care from millions of people; and there’s a new travel ban.

But never mind all that because National Football League (NFL) players are “taking a knee” during the National Anthem.

In addition to Trump over the weekend calling players who refuse to stand for the anthem out of peaceful protest “sons of bitches,” it is his preferred communication method, Twitter, that has possibly placed him once again in legal jeopardy.

On Sunday, Trump tweeted:

“If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!”

According to Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law School constitutional law professor and Carl M. Loeb university professor at Harvard University, that tweet may have violated U.S. 18, Section 227.

The law states:

(a)Whoever, being a covered government person, with the intent to influence, solely on the basis of partisan political affiliation, an employment decision or employment practice of any private entity—

(1) takes or withholds, or offers or threatens to take or withhold, an official act, or

(2) influences, or offers or threatens to influence, the official act of another, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than 15 years, or both, and may be disqualified from holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.

 (b) In this section, the term “covered government person” means—

(1) a Senator or Representative in, or a Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress;

(2) an employee of either House of Congress; or

(3) the President, Vice President, an employee of the United States Postal Service or the Postal Regulatory Commission, or any other executive branch employee (as such term is defined under section 2105 of title 5, United States Code).

Professor Tribe tweeted:

“Looks like it clearly covers and he appears to have violated or at least attempted to violate 18 USC sec 227(a)(2) on issue.”

According to a piece in Politicususa:

“If one accepts that Trump as the Republican Party’s leader has repeatedly defended racists, while repeatedly condemning opponents of racism, then there is a basis to conclude that Trump’s tweet was partisan.

“Moreover, given Trump’s history, one can infer from his tweet that he is calling on his supporters to boycott the NFL if they don’t fire football players who peacefully protest racism. That would qualify as a partisan activity, wouldn’t it?”

Just add this to the mounting charges the president may already guilty of.

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Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to The Left Place blog on Substack, Liberal Nation Rising, and Medium.