FACT CHECK: No, John Podesta Was Not Sentenced To Death By A Military Commission

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

An image shared on Instagram claims a military commission sentenced former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta to be executed on June 1.


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A post shared by Drew Umbaugh (@knoisay_2_)

Verdict: False

There is no evidence Podesta has been indicted or sentenced for any crime punishable by death. The claim stems from a website that publishes “humor, parody and satire.”

Fact Check:

The image in the May 29 Instagram post shows what appears to be part of a tweet sent the same day with photos of Podesta and Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Navy Rear Adm. Darse Crandall.

The text of the tweet reads, “Rear Admiral Crandall; This commission decrees that John Podesta will face capital punishment by firing squad, the act to be carried out on the 1st of June. This session of the military commission on tribunals is concluded.”

There is no evidence, however, that Podesta has been sentenced to death. Check Your Fact searched for news reports about such a sentence, yet no such reports appear to exist. (RELATED: Was Pope Francis Arrested On Charges Including Human Trafficking And Fraud?)

A search of the Department of Defense’s website and social media posts also turned up no mention of Podesta undergoing a military trial, being indicted, convicted, sentenced or confessing to a crime punishable by death. Podesta, who founded the Center for American Progress, is still listed as a member of the organization’s board.

The claim appears to stem from a May 8 article published by Real Raw News bearing the headline: “Podesta Military Tribunal: Day 3 Guilty!” While Real Raw News includes a disclaimer that its articles may contain “humor, parody, and satire,” social media users have been sharing the claim without such a warning, seemingly believing the erroneous claim to be true.

This isn’t the first time a false claim about Podesta that’s circulating on social media has stemmed from a Real Raw News article. Check Your Fact in April corrected a baseless claim stemming from a Raw News article that Podesta and Huma Abedin, an aide to Hillary Clinton, were arrested and taken to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
Follow Trevor on Twitterhttps://twitter.com/tschakohl