Yesterday, the January 6th committee sent a giant shot across the bow to Fox News with its letter to Sean Hannity asking his cooperation but more importantly revealing the committee knows a lot about what he was up to behind the scenes, suggested it knows a lot about what other Fox Trumpers were up to and is letting it out drip, drip, drip.
After news broke that the committee wants to speak with Hannity, an official letter to him was tweeted out to the public. The letter states that it has “dozens of text messages you sent to and received from former White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows and others related to the 2020 election and President Trump’s efforts to contest the outcome of the vote.”
Then it dangles a few scintillating tastes of what the committee has:
For example, on December 31, 2020, you texted Mr. Meadows the following:
“We can’t lose the entire WH counsels office. I do NOT see January 6 happening the way he is being told. After the 6 th. [sic] He should announce will lead the nationwide effort to reform voting integrity. Go to Fl and watch Joe mess up daily. Stay engaged. When he speaks people will listen.”
Hannity’s use of the word “We” tells you everything about whose side he’s on. Spoiler alert: It’s not his viewers. Erik Wemple notes that it wasn’t until months later that we found out about the incident Hannity was referring to: threats of White House counsel resignations if Trump installed a voter-fraud-loyalist as attorney general. Wemple raises the good question as to how Hannity knew about this four days before the actual threats were made, during a January 3rd meeting.
On the air, however, Hannity showed an entirely different face to his viewers. More from Wemple:
In contrast, Hannity played up the looming Jan. 6 protests in Washington and the electoral college objections that senators such as Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) would offer that day as part of the same Trump effort.
“This is a critical. This is a necessary step in an election that is clearly wrought with serious issues,” Hannity said of what Cruz and Hawley were doing. He added that “we have major institutional failures with no curiosity whatsoever.”
As Media Matters pointed out, Hannity’s inside knowledge of Trump’s coup attempt was exactly the kind of bombshell even a halfway legit journalist would be sure to make public (Hannity often claims to be a journalist when it's expedient). But Hannity, Trump’s “unofficial chief of staff” made it clear his priorities are with his Bedtime BFF, Trump, not with the Fox viewers or the public.
I think we can be pretty sure Hannity will not cooperate with the committee:
New statement from Hannity counsel Jay Sekulow: "We are evaluating the letter from the committee. We remain very concerned about the constitutional implications especially as it relates to the First Amendment. We will respond as appropriate."— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 5, 2022
But nobody should let him get away with any claim that he's a journalist.
As I write this, Hannity has remained publicly silent on Fox about this, which suggests that the network honchos have been deliberating over how to respond to this latest embarrassment. I have no doubt they’ll find a way to give Hannity/Trump a pass. But the January 6th committee will likely keep up the pressure on Fox with more embarrassing revelations that will be released piecemeal, thus generating serial headlines. This, along with the previous January 6th texts from other Fox hosts the committee dropped are putting one arrow after another into the heart of Fox’s pretense that it’s any kind of news network.
(Hannity image via screen grab)
I expect that Sekulow and Hannity will not only refuse to cooperate, but that Hannity will take the same approach as multiple other former Trump minions and sue the congressional committee. The point of the lawsuits isn’t to actually win, or to prevail in a lower court. The point is to get the cases to a friendly district court and then potentially to the Supreme Court, and to drag them out for the next year. The goal here is to run out the clock until after the midterms and thus moot the entire scenario. Assuming that angry Right Wingers prevail in the midterms and the House switches hands, I would expect the GOP to immediately disband the January 6 committee and set up an alternate one blaming Nancy Pelosi.
Thanks for the pointer :)
He insisted (rightly, to my mind) that the insurrection did not end on January 6th: it has continued albeit in a more insidious manner, through law-making aimed at making it more difficult for people to vote. The GOP has gone way beyond the pale of gerrymandering to the banning of any measures that might encourage voters to vote.
I was unfortunately not able to watch the speeches by Democratic congress critters (I love that nickname) but was enheartened to see Dick Cheney on the floor with his daughter. Here’s hoping he will follow in the footsteps of Barry Goldwater and move energetically towards stopping the on-going, totally un-American insurrection.
The fact that only the Cheneys were present during the remembrance event is not a good sign, however.
I apologize for not posting on the subject today. I’m under the weather and took a COVID test today. And I pulled a muscle during my road trip home on Sunday/Monday. Just overall not feeling good. Off to bed and hope to be up early so I can catch up tomorrow.
I wonder … does Hannity have a sense of self-preservation or not? I know he has no shame, but could he have at least that?