News & Politics

Former Watergate Prosecutor Says Fox News' Sean Hannity Admitted to Criminal Witness Tampering on Live TV

Nick Akerman noted that the crime comes with a sentence of up to 20 years.

Photo Credit: Fox News

Fox News's Sean Hannity may soon find himself in the same boat as President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort: accused of obstruction of justice.

On Thursday night, former Watergate special prosecutor Nick Akerman argued on MSNBC's "The Beat with Ari Melber" that Hannity had already admitted to — and carried out — the crime the previous night on his show.

"Sean Hannity admitted to — and was actually enticing people to do and asking them to do — was to destroy evidence. Which is a violation of the witness tampering statute," Akerman said.

He was referring to Hannity's comments on Wednesday about witnesses in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation who were reportedly asked for their cell phone and encrypted messages.

Directing his comments toward these witnesses, Hannity said: "Take your phones and bash them with a hammer into little itsy-bitsy pieces, use BleachBit, remove the SIM cards and then take the pieces and hand it over to Robert Muller and say, 'Hillary Rodham Clinton. This is equal justice under the law.'"

In Akerman's view, these remarks were a clear violation of the law, though Melber and others on the show argued that Hannity's protection by the First Amendment would likely shield him from prosecution on this front.

"It's not just people who destroy the evidence, but it's also people who actually ask others to do it," Akerman said. "I mean, if you just look at the language of the statute: 'Whoever knowingly persuades another person or attempts to do so, with intent to cause or induce any person to alter, destroy, mutilate or conceal an object with intent to impair the object's integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding' commits a twenty-year felony."

He added: "He's doing it on TV!"

Watch the clip below:

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Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.