Apparently, the Trump impeachment trial evidence against Donald Trump was just too much for Fox News (and/or their viewers) so they cut away from Rep. Diana Degette’s presentation in order to get spin from Trump lawyer David Schoen.
Fox News has cut away repeatedly from the trial to put on pro-Trump spokespeople. Wednesday, I noted that Fox interrupted for an all-conservative panel. Yesteray, I saw them interrupt to bring on former Trump spokesperson Hogan Gidley and RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
But Schoen showing such contempt for the proceedings that he chose to do a Fox hit instead of watching them – and Fox was in on the game – spoke volumes.
Schoen attacked the trial for its “complete lack of evidence” and despite being fine with Donald Trump’s divisive, inflammatory rhetoric and behavior, whined about “the complete harm” the trial is “causing to the American people.” Never mind the complete harm that Trump caused when he undermined our electoral process with false claims of voter fraud, urged his supporters to storm the Capitol to try to overturn the election (whether or not you think he incited violence) and failed to do anything to stop the violence once it started.
Predictably, neither anchor said a word to challenge the obvious disingenuousness. They looked on with thoughtful expressions as Schoen, with a straight face, called the trial “the antithesis of a process that would lead to healing or unity or accountability … It tears the country apart.”
But it would seem that the footage of the violent Trump supporters may have shaken Schoen. He asked, “Do you think it leads to healing to show and reshow the tragedy that happened here at the Capitol, lives lost, that had nothing whatsoever to do with President Trump? But they want you to believe that it did.”
Co-anchor Sandra Smith hinted that the Democrats put on a strong case. She noted that the impeachment managers were using Trump’s own words as evidence against him. She even noted the “meandering message” of Schoen's widely-panned co-counsel, Bruce Castor, as she asked if there will be, or maybe suggested there should be, “a change in legal strategy” Friday, when the defense begins its case.
Schoen replied there will not be a change and that Castor has been “unfairly maligned.”
Co-anchor John Roberts also suggested a strong Democratic case. “How big a hill do you think you have to climb?” he asked, and cited Republican Sen. John Thune, Number Two in the Senate Republican leadership, calling it “a strong, strong presentation put together in a way I think makes it very compelling.” According to Roberts, Thune also said Democrats did a good job “connecting the dots" between Trump and the violence.
Schoen didn’t say anything like, “We’ll prove otherwise.” He attacked the Democrats’ presentation as “an entertainment package” put together by “a movie company” and “a large law firm.” But wait - couldn’t wildly successful businessman Trump have afforded all the resources he needs, too? Schoen claimed the Democrats’ sources were poor (though we saw video, texts and tweets) and the word “reportedly." Then he laughably complained about “a complete lack of investigation" on the part of the Democrats.
I think anyone who watched the actual trial would have seen otherwise. The House managers meticulously put together their material.
Maybe it’s just me but I thought Smith and Roberts looked a bit dubious at the claims, especially Smith.
Schoen went on to complain about the use of hearsay, as if the impeachment trial were before a judge and not the public and the Senate.
Smith changed the subject to ask how President Trump is reacting. Schoen assured us he is “very upbeat” although “quite offended at trying to be tied into” the January 6 insurrection.
Before closing, Smith pushed the Fox/Trump strategy by “asking” whether we’ll see video from the defense (i.e. videos of Democrats supporting Black Lives Matter protests, an obviously false equivalence but with the extra Trump bonus of race baiting) to counter the Democrats’ videos. Smith didn’t say so but she obviously thought them very powerful.
Apparently, we will see pro-Trump videos. Schoen said, “I think you’ll at least be moved by what you see and get a much better picture of exactly what’s going on here and the hypocrisy in some of the positions taken by the House managers in this case.”
The Trump defense begins at noon ET.