Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich criticized Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on national television last Friday, calling a law the governor recently signed criminal.
Appearing on Fox News Channel's "Outnumbered," Knezovich claimed that the so-called "sanctuary state" law aims to hinder national immigration enforcement.
The law creates a number of new restrictions as to how law enforcement in Washington state can deal with immigration issues. Knezovich says the sheriff's office has already been complying with most aspects of the law.
But one section of the law, which limits certain types of information-sharing between local cops and federal agents, has particularly frustrated Knezovich.
The part of the law in question reads: "State and local law enforcement agencies may not provide non-publicly available personal information about an individual... to federal immigration authorities in a noncriminal matter, except as required by state or federal law."
In an interview with KREM 2 last month, Knezovich said, "I have news for the governor and the [attorney general]. We are not going to stop helping our federal partners enforce the law."
"Outnumbered" co-anchor Harris Faulkner asked Knezovich, "You're saying [Inslee's] committing a crime basically?"
To that, Knezovich responded: "I am. He took the same oath that I did: to uphold the constitution of the United States and the laws thereof."
The crime Knezovich claims Inslee has committed? Obstruction of justice.
"If you really think it's bad, change the law," Knezovich said on the program, referring to Inslee. "Otherwise, if you don't want to enforce your own laws, either step down or be held in contempt of Congress, or be arrested for obstruction."
Inslee does not see it that way.
In a statement, a spokeswoman wrote, "We are fully confident that with this bill, Washington state is in full compliance with all federal laws. The bill was passed by the legislature and signed by the governor. The bill is now state law and sheriffs, just like everyone else, are expected to follow state law."
There are plenty of words to go around. But will anyone actually face consequences for any of this accused lawbreaking? Probably not.
Nobody has indicated a willingness to actually try to charge the governor with obstruction for signing a law and Inslee surely isn't resigning.
If the sheriff refuses to enforce the law, there probably won't be any consequences from the state either. Neither the governor nor the attorney general would provide an answer as to whether they'd seek or encourage any action against Knezovich.
If anything does happen to any involved party, it would almost certainly come in the form of a lawsuit. That could mean someone challenging the state law or someone suing the sheriff's office for violating it.
At that point, the courts would hash it out.