On Thursday night, CBS’ Catherine Herridge conducted an exclusive interview with Attorney General William Barr regarding the Department of Justice’s decision to drop its charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Herridge lobbed softballs at Barr and failed to ask any serious follow-up questions.
In one of the five questions asked, Herridge asked Barr if he was “doing the president’s bidding.” Barr responded by saying he was “doing the law’s bidding.” Herridge immediately went on to ask about the “incoming” criticism he was going to receive for this decision, framing feedback for the chief law enforcement officer of the United States in strictly partisan terms (and glossing over Barr’s history of corrupting the legal system to benefit President Donald Trump.)
Later, Herridge asked Barr how he believed history would remember his decision to drop the charges on Flynn. Barr stated that “history is written by the winners,” and the segment cut to Herridge giving concluding remarks before passing back to CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell.
There are serious questions raised by the DOJ 's decision to sudden abandon the prosecution of a case in which Flynn pleaded guilty in open court, without a single career prosecutor signing on. The viewers didn’t get that context from Herridge’s interview.
Herridge also didn’t ask Barr about other potential charges that Flynn was facing before making his original plea deal, such as for making false statements on his lobbying form.
Herridge is a former reporter for Fox News, which laid the groundwork for the Department of Justice’s decision to drop charges against Flynn.
During her tenure at Fox, Herridge frequently inserted the editorial views of the network into her reporting. In late 2017, she claimed that Flynn’s contacts with the Russians weren't as “sinister-sounding” when read in court documents. During an April 2019 press conference Barr gave following the conclusion of Robert Mueller’s investigation, Herridge channeled Fox’s opinion side in her one question to Barr. And Herridge frequently made misleading reports about the Benghazi attacks and Hillary Clinton’s emails that only served as grist for the Fox News opinion mill.