In light of a blockbuster report that Fox News spiked a story about Donald Trump before the 2016 election that could have severely damaged his electability, a Washington Post columnist suggested that hosts on the conservative network are still running interference for the president who is mired in scandals.
According to Greg Sargent, Fox News hosts are reacting poorly to House committee chairs -- now Democrats after the midterm elections -- who are making good on their promises to investigate Trump.
"Precisely because Trump has committed extremely serious misconduct and wrongdoing on so many fronts, some of Fox’s leading voices are resorting to portraying any and all oversight directed at the president as fundamentally illegitimate," Sargent wrote. "Another way of putting this is that Fox personalities are arguing that Trump should be above accountability — that is, above the law. They don’t put it this way, but this is what they’re really saying."
According to the columnist, "What these folks are really saying, then, is that investigating this attack on our democracy — regardless of whether conspiracy happened — is itself corrupt and illegitimate. That Trump benefited from illicit help in getting elected — whether or not he would have won without it is irrelevant — must not be acknowledged. "
Sargent claimed that there are five avenues of investigation that Fox News personalities are concentrating their fire on in the hopes of either derailing them or convincing their Trump-loving viewers that they are illegitimate and corrupted by partisan hatred.
"These materials provide a guide to what Fox’s personalities do not want investigated (that is, in addition to sabotage of our democracy, as noted above)" he wrote before ticking off:
- Materials relating to any foreign government payments to Trump’s businesses, which might constitute violations of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.
- Materials that might shed light on Trump’s negotiations over the duration of a real estate project in Moscow, which Trump concealed from the voters even as the GOP primaries were underway.
- Materials that might show whether Trump’s lawyers had a hand in rewriting former lawyer Michael Cohen’s testimony to Congress falsifying the timeline of those negotiations.
- Materials that might illuminate more detail about Trump’s numerous efforts to obstruct the FBI/Mueller investigation.
- Materials that would shed more light on the criminal hush-money scheme that Cohen carried out, allegedly at Trump’s direction, and on Trump’s reimbursement of those payments.
The columnist concluded:
"Trump’s long-term political prospects depend upon keeping millions and millions of his voters in thrall to the idea that investigations into all of these matters are at their core illegitimate efforts to overturn the 2016 election," he wrote. "But precisely because of the immense amount of wrongdoing, misconduct and lawlessness that has already been documented on Trump’s part, this in effect requires arguing that the president should be immune from accountability entirely."
You can read the whole piece here.