“I’m uncomfortable talking about it, but I think we have to,” began Joe Scarborough in the two and a half minute video you can see below, before describing an extortion campaign by the White House to silence criticism in his daily broadcasts.
You can see the anguish on Scarborough’s face and that of his co-host as they recount details of a presidential blackmail scheme, which was aimed squarely at devastating their First Amendment right to remain free of government censorship.
Trump threatened exposure of non-public information in the National Enquirer tabloid.
The President’s is friends with their publisher David Pecker.
Federal law prohibits extortion, blackmail and all manner of coercive threats.
Both of MSNBC’s morning hosts described President Trump’s highly coordinated blackmail attempts on live national television this morning in a detailed fashion, after first disclosing the attempt to chill his Constitutional right to free speech by the White House in a Washington Post op-ed column:
This year, top White House staff members warned that the National Enquirer was planning to publish a negative article about us unless we begged the president to have the story spiked. We ignored their desperate pleas.
The pair said three top Trump Administration officials pressed him, repeatedly.
And he says there are text messages to prove it.
Yet another lie. I have texts from your top aides and phone records. Also, those records show I haven't spoken with you in many months. https://t.co/TZWiElo6Gs
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) June 30, 2017
Joe Scarborough served in Congress as a member of the president’s own party.
Shamefully, the National Enquirer is busy cashing in on their involvement in an extortion scheme to destroy the First Amendment’s right to petition the government for redress of grievances.
If documents or testimony point to a presidential campaign against MSNBC’s journalists, it could lead to the federal prosecution of some of Trump’s employees, and perhaps then, Congress may decide to investigate presidential threats against one of its former members.
We don’t know all of the details of the Trump Administration’s alleged extortion campaign against MSNBC’s news anchors, but Congress passed the Presidential Records Act to force the White House to retain all records, including text messages and emails, so if the journalists decide to sue for injunctive relief, there would be official records to back up their claims.
But we do know that President Nixon resigned after the House of Representatives filed Articles of Impeachment for obstruction of justice and also for abuse of power.
Presidents cannot be indicted by the federal justice system for crimes, but they can be impeached by Congress and then later charged criminally if removed from office, according to the Constitution.
“This is one of the most dangerous times in American history,” said Scarborough on MSNBC, “We have a president attacking a cable news host because she’s making a joke about a Time Magazine cover.”