The Democratic Coalition, an anti-Trump Super PAC, has filed an ethics complaint against White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders with the Office of Government Ethics for essentially calling for ESPN host Jemele Hill to be fired.
Hill recently called President Trump a “white supremacist” in a tweet. Asked about it during a White House press briefing Wednesday, Huckabee Sanders said Hill’s criticism of the president was a “fireable offense by ESPN.”
“When Sarah Huckabee Sanders called for Jemele Hill to be fired by ESPN, she crossed the line and put herself in dubious legal territory,” Coalition Chairman Jon Cooper said in a statement first obtained by TheWrap.
“For Sanders to publicly call for the dismissal of a Trump critic is bizarre and disturbing, to say the least,” Cooper added. “If anyone is to be fired, it should be her.”
The coalition cited a federal law, which states that certain government employees — including any executive branch employee — are prohibited from influencing the employment decisions or practices of a private entity or company “solely on the basis of partisan political affiliation.”
Breaking the law is punishable by a fine or up to 15 years in prison, or both.
“This is yet another example of the Trump White House’s blatant disregard for the Constitution and its authoritarian efforts to quiet dissenters,”Nate Lerner, the group’s Executive Director, said. “It is of the utmost importance that we hold the Trump administration accountable for this illicit behavior and protect our democratic institutions.”
The White House did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.