Media conservatives divided over testimony against Trump, with some strongly defending him
NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
The battle over Donald Trump’s role in the Capitol riot is now fully underway.
For weeks, many conservative commentators remained silent as the House committee heard testimony, mostly from Republicans, about Trump pressuring state officials and top Justice Department officials. to help him cancel the election, sometimes invoking wild conspiracy theories. These experts dismissed the Jan. 6 panel as a purely partisan operation and said it would not affect the election.
But after the convincing testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, the former assistant of Mark Meadows, some engage on the merits.
On Fox primetime, Laura Ingraham said: « I spoke with former White House staff, three or four of them in the afternoon, and they knew her well. And no one had anything good to say about his performance today…And as their surprise testimony explodes in their faces, there’s another problem for Democrats.It turns out voters just don’t care. of this January 6 masquerade.
GROWING DEMOCRATIC FRUSTRATION WITH BIDEN ON ABORTION FUELS NEW DOUBTS ABOUT 2024
Sean Hannity called Hutchinson « the so-called witness », adding, « We’ve heard more rumors, a ton of hearsay, and wow, a lot of impeached testimony. »
In counterpoint, Comments Editor John Podhoretz tweeted, « Didn’t think this day would come… But in the wake of today’s bombshells, there’s no doubt that Donald Trump is watching the barrel of an indictment for seditious conspiracy against the government of the United States. » This, of course, belongs to the Department of Justice.
Trump’s former acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, has jumped off the train. Mulvaney, who knows Hutchinson, told « CBS Mornings »: « I don’t think she’s lying. I thought her testimony yesterday was very compelling and very believable… Count me in as one of the Republicans who hopes that he is not the candidate at this point.”
Fox News contributor Andy McCarthy called the eyewitness account « devastating ».
The New York Times quoted « a current trusted adviser » calling Hutchinson’s testimony « killer », while others admitted the revelations were « potentially quite damaging, primarily politically but also, potentially, legally ».
The conservative Washington Examiner said in an op-ed that the testimony « should spell the end of former President Donald Trump’s political career. Trump is unfit to ever come close to power again. »
The former president, who called Hutchinson a ‘leak’ and a ‘crazy’ and has denied most of her accusations, was back on Truth Social yesterday. He said she « lost all credibility », called her a « fake social climber who got caught » and accused her of joining the committee with these « lies and fabricated stories ». It’s a « shame, » Trump said. « No cross-examination, no real Republicans, no lawyers, NO NOTHING… The deselected should be forced to disband. WITCH HUNT! »
Now Hutchinson, 26, has made distinctions between what she personally saw and heard and what was told to her by other senior officials, and when she was unsure of an exact quote, she said « words to the effect of ».
But a problem has arisen that could tarnish his reputation.
One of Hutchinson’s most explosive allegations is that when Trump got into the presidential SUV and his request to be taken to Capitol Hill was denied, he got into a physical altercation. She said it was told to her by Deputy Chief of Staff Tony Ornato and that Senior Secret Service Agent Robert Engel was in the room and did not dispute the account.
The Times reports that “Secret Service officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the potential testimony said that Robert Engel…and the driver of the vehicle were prepared to swear that neither man had been assaulted by the former president and that he had not reached out for the wheel. »
HOW POWERFUL TESTIMONY FROM STATE REPUBLICANS UNDERLINED THE TRUMP PRESSURE CAMPAIGN
Committee member Jamie Raskin dismissed those accounts (also reported by Fox and other networks) as « anonymous-source rumors. » I would just point out that the committee interviewed both Ornato and Engel, and it’s hard to imagine that Liz Cheney would have gotten Hutchinson’s account had the other two men disputed it.
SUBSCRIBE TO HOWIE’S MEDIA BUZZMETER PODCAST, A RIFF ON THE DAY’S HOTTEST STORIES
This underscores a problem with the way the Democratic-controlled committee has been doing its business. Why not post this testimonial? It’s a one-sided panel building a case, and while the presence of pro-Trump Republicans would have disrupted the highly scripted TV show, it would have bolstered the committee’s credibility.
Even if the afternoon hearings don’t draw huge ratings, many networks have replayed long snippets of Hutchinson’s testimony, with the intensity of Watergate. A former president has now been accused of wanting armed people to march to the Capitol because he didn’t feel threatened; to demand to lead the crowd of demonstrators because “I am the fucking president”; and to say that Mike Pence deserved to be threatened with hanging and that the rioters had done nothing wrong.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Andy McCarthy writes in National Review that « things won’t be the same after this ». I think he’s right.
Hearings may fade, no charges may be filed, most of the public may not care in November. But the barrage of social media posts shows that Trump is concerned about his reputation, and some of his conservative media supporters are stepping up their defense.