“This is why people won’t come out and speak against the government,” said a former ICE spokesman who refused to lie for Trump’s administration.
In a nationally televised incident that “should disturb every single person living in the United States,” agents from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General’s Office on Wednesday interrupted an interview with former ICE spokesperson James Schwab, who resigned from his position in March after he was asked to perpetuate lies on behalf of the Trump administration.
“This is intimidation,” Schwab told CBS reporter Jamie Yuccas after the agents left his doorstep. “And this is why people won’t come out and speak against the government.”
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) June 28, 2018
Schwab, who began working for ICE in 2015, left the agency after he refused orders to echo the Trump administration’s lie that more than 800 undocumented immigrants avoided arrest during a February sweep in Northern California because of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s public warning ahead of the massive raid.
According to Schwab, the DHS agents who “ambushed” the interview wanted to know if Schwab tipped off the Oakland mayor about the planned raids.
“I’ve never met her before. I never contacted Libby Schaaf,” Schwab told Yuccas.
Asked why he has decided to speak about his former employer, Schwab said he hopes to empower other government officials to push back against pressure to spread false information to cater to the Trump White House’s agenda.
“That’s one of the most important reasons that I’m doing this is that—so that people hear that someone else stood up, that someone else said, ‘No,'” Schwab said. “To actually prepare and stand out in front of the public and perpetuate something that you know is absolutely false is not okay. And no special agent from the Department of Homeland Security is gonna stop me from saying that.”
Watch the full interview: