As former President Donald Trump faces additional charges in connection to his handling of classified documents, right-wing media are rushing to defend him and attack the prosecution.
These new charges revolve around the Trump team allegedly conspiring to delete security footage of the classified documents being moved at Mar-a-Lago. The new indictment also charges the property manager at Trump’s resort who allegedly deleted the security footage on behalf of the former president.
Rather than engage with the new charges, right-wing media have been quick to downplay the prosecution’s claims and suggest the Department of Justice is trying to destroy Trump’s political career. Repeated claims of DOJ bias and a two-tiered justice system also continue to dominate conservative coverage of the former president’s indictments in the latest attempt by right-wing media to obscure and downplay Trump’s legal issues in taking multiple highly classified documents from the White House and obstructing attempts to have them returned.
Suggesting the charges are targeted to destroy Trump’s presidential campaign
- Discussing the new indictment on his prime-time show, Fox host Sean Hannity asked whether “the end goal is to prevent Donald Trump from running for president in 2024?” Hannity’s guest, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), responded, “Absolutely, what other conclusion could you reach?”
- On Telegram, “Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander said that special counsel Jack Smith “is UNHINGED and rigging the election for DeSantis and Biden.” He claimed Smith included the property manager in the indictment “so that he can try and flip him to get Trump,” adding, “Law & Order has been destroyed. Act accordingly, patriots!"
- QAnon influencer John Sabal, known online as “QAnon John,” posted on Telegram that “They are pulling out ALL the stops to try and STOP Trump from winning the White House. They know as well as we do that he is on a MISSION to absolutely ANNIHILATE the Deep State. That’s WHY he is being heavily targeted with indictments & witch hunts.”
- On Fox & Friends, Mike Huckabee downplayed the charges against Trump and said, “I think most Americans look at this and they can see that this is an attempt to make sure that Donald Trump is somehow chased off the ballot.”
Calling the charges a “distraction” and suggesting DOJ is fishing for people to flip on Trump
- Fox contributor Katie Pavlich dismissed the new charges against Trump, saying “politically, I don't think it adds much” and claimed that the property manager was also indicted “because it's an easy thing to do to try and get to President Trump.”
- On Fox & Friends, guest Francey Hakes claimed the charges were being brought against Trump’s associates because “they are trying to find someone to flip on Trump, … and so they are really reaching here to charge this other person with conspiracy.”
- On her Fox prime-time show, host Laura Ingraham said that the latest charges for Trump are a media “distraction” from Hunter Biden’s collapsed plea deal.
- Trump confidant Roger Stone suggested on Twitter that the new charges were a “distraction” from the death of the Obamas’ personal chef, saying, “Is this why they announced additional charges against @realDonaldTrump? #DistractionStrategy.”
- Fox legal contributor Jonathan Turley said the new charges show that “it’s fairly common for the DOJ to go after low-hanging fruit” in order to get them to “flip for the government.”
Complaining about a supposed two-tiered justice system
- Sean Hannity claimed that the new Trump charges signal the death of “equal justice,” adding: “If you’re going to raid somebody’s home for top-secret classified documents in one party, you need to raid the home of the other guy.”
- Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk said on Twitter, “So let me get this straight… The DOJ tried to pull a fast one and immunize Hunter Biden from future criminal investigations via un unprecedented plea deal. And now Jack Smith has added 3 new charges against Trump and even charged his maintenance man… Equal justice!”
- Right-wing commentator Stephen L. Miller tweeted: “Genuinely in awe that a day after a criminal plea deal between his son, and his own DOJ fell apart because a judge went ‘Wait a second, we've never seen this kind of deal’, the President's DOJ said ‘yeah let's throw 3 more indictments on there’ to his opposing party front runner."
- Fox News Radio host Guy Benson retweeted Miller’s post and added, “Whatever you think of Trump’s actions & these charges on the merits (re: docs/obstruction, I think he earned this prosecution), this juxtaposition in the public mind (coupled w/ Hillary skating) is so corrosive to our collective belief in equal justice under the law…”
- While appearing as a guest on Fox News’ Hannity, former Trump adviser Stephen Miller asserted, “At the very same time that they are using the most heavy-handed authoritarian tactics in human history to get rid of an American president — in other words, no American president in history who's ever gone through with what Donald Trump is going through — they are now also trying to shield Joe Biden by giving his son a ‘get out of jail free’ card.”
- On Fox News’ Fox & Friends, co-host Ainsley Earhardt reiterated Trump's claim that the continued indictments are “election interference at the highest level.” Earhardt added that “Jack Smith keeps going after Donald Trump and it's more charges” and asked whether other elected officials who have been found with classified documents will receive similar charges to Trump.