If Fox News thought it was going to get another Republican to attack special counsel Robert Mueller and the trial of Paul Manafort, which began today, they got a rude awakening from former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Gonzales visited Fox News’ America’s Newsroom show to answer the “question,” “Has the special counsel investigation grown too broad?” Although you’d never know it from the online description of Gonzales’ comments, the answer was an unequivocal “No.”
Gonzales got right to his support for Mueller in his first comment, saying that he thought the Mueller team “has really, I think, established a strong predicate for a successful prosecution here.” Gonzales added that he had a lot of confidence in Mueller when he headed the FBI under Gonzales and that he probably “has a very strong case here.”
The word “witch hunt” did not come up. But Gonzales made it clear he thought the accusations against Manafort were legitimate and quite serious. He said he thought the case against Manafort would have been brought “irrespective of a special counsel.”
That provided cohost Bill Hemmer to jump at the opportunity to raise a “bigger question” about the need for any special counsel. But Gonzales refused to take the Trump propaganda bait:
GONZALES: Oh, I agree that a normal prosecutor outside the authority of a special counsel could have prosecuted this case but that would have been a waste of resources, in my judgment, given the fact that the special counsel’s office, in connection with the Mueller probe, has discovered all this information and does have the authority, the broad authority under the Rosenstein grant of authority, to move forward with this prosecution so I think it would be a waste of resources and time to simply have allocated this to another office and so –
Hemmer interrupted this Trump-unfriendly message. “Republican or Democrat – the special counsel law, has it gone too broad?”
Gonzales wouldn’t bite here either. He said, “I think it’s a question of who you ask.” But he unmistakably laid down what he thought was the more important point:
GONZALES: The question here is whether a federal crime has been committed irrespective of who’s going to prosecute it, who is investigating it. Has a federal crime been committed and, if so, it should be investigated and it should be prosecuted. People who engage in wrongdoing should be held to account for that.
Whoever thought a nice, liberal girl like me would find Alberto Gonazales a breath of fresh air on Fox News? But in the age of Trump, you take your bedfellows where you find them, even if they are only temporary, and he did a nice job of standing up for the rule of law and pushing back on Fox’s blatant efforts to undermine it.
Watch it below, from the July 31, 2018 America’s Newsroom.