WATCH: ‘Fox & Friends’ defend Barr’s refusal to testify before the House Judiciary Committee – by lying
The crew at “Fox & Friends” often present even the most serious and important events with a happy smile, a positive spin – or spin that advances their pro-Trump activism or other agendas. And sometimes they do so by lying.
Thursday morning was no different.
“Fox & Friends” rushed to defend Attorney General Bill Barr and his refusal to testify before the House Judiciary Committee today, a previously scheduled day of testimony, after his horrific performance before Democratic Senators on Wednesday.
The Dept. of Justice informed the House Judiciary that the Attorney General would not appear Thursday, citing the Committee’s decision to allow staff attorneys, and not just Members of Congress, to question Barr.
“They decided yesterday, after they changed the rules, along party line votes,” co-host Steve Doocy told “Fox & Friends” viewers. “They said, ‘You know what? In addition to us all asking questions, we’re gonna haul in our lawyers and they’re gonna ask you questions for half-an-hour, take it or leave it.'”
“He’s gonna leave it,” Doocy said, almost laughing, in praise of the Attorney General’s disrespect for a co-equal branch of government and the rule of law.
Then co-host Ainsley Earhardt chimed in.
“He said, ‘I agreed to talk to Congress. I didn’t agree to talk to Congress’ lawyers.’ That’s not the rule, that’s never happened before,” Earhardt lied.
Ainsley Earhardt falsely claims that Congress hiring lawyers to question someone has “never happened before.” Senate Republicans had a lawyer question Christine Blasey Ford in Congress seven months ago. pic.twitter.com/D0yM9DluOD# p #9_21 # ad skipped = true #
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) May 2, 2019# p #10_21 # ad skipped = true #
Curiously, the “Fox & Friends” commentary aligned almost perfectly with what a Justice Dept. spokesperson said days earlier:
“The attorney general agreed to appear before Congress,” Kerri Kupec said Sunday. “Therefore, members of Congress should be the ones doing the questioning. He remains happy to engage with members on their questions regarding the Mueller report.”
And contrary to Earhardt’s lie, it has happened before – most recently when Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee brought in an attorney to question Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who is not even a member of the federal government, and who objected to it, but sat through it and answered questions anyway.
And if “Fox & Friends” would like to perform some quick research, they would be able to inform their viewers that it also happened during Watergate, Iran-Contra, the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, and several impeachment hearings, as The New York Times reports, citing a Judiciary Committee spokesperson.
Although allowing staff members to question witnesses is unusual, the committee has permitted it on several occasions in the past, under both Democratic and Republican majorities, according to a spokesman for Mr. Nadler, Daniel Schwarz. This includes during public hearings and private transcribed interviews, like the impeachment inquiries into Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton, and the Republican-led investigation into the F.B.I.’s handling of Hillary Clinton’s emails.
There is also precedent for having staff lawyers interview cabinet secretaries, Mr. Schwarz said. During the joint House and Senate Hearings on the Iran-contra scandal in 1987, committee staff members questioned both Attorney General Edwin Meese III and Secretary of State George P. Shultz. And in 1973, committee staff members questioned James Schlesinger, the C.I.A. director, during a House Armed Services subcommittee inquiry into the alleged involvement of the C.I.A. in the Watergate scandal.
As for Earhardt’s that’s “never happened before” lie, here she is back in September, on “Fox & Friends,” discussing Dr. Christine Blasey’s Ford’s request to not have an outside attorney question her. This is Earhardt’s own tweet:
# p #19_21 # ad skipped = true #
— Ainsley Earhardt (@ainsleyearhardt) September 21, 2018# p #20_21 # ad skipped = true #