After former President Donald Trump predicted his own arrest and indictment, right-wing media pundits were quick to provide cover for him and attack an investigation that they claimed would help the 2024 hopeful’s reelection campaign.
On March 18, Trump posted to his Truth Social account that he was expecting the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office to indict and arrest him the following Tuesday, March 21. The posts came while a Manhattan grand jury heard testimony as part of an ongoing investigation into Trump allegedly paying hush-money to adult film actor Stormy Daniels in 2016 over an alleged affair.
In response, right-wing media have continued their pattern of defending Trump from various investigations and smearing Trump’s longtime associate-turned-witness Michael Cohen, who testified in 2019 that Trump had directed Cohen to repeatedly pay off women for their silence about their sexual relationships with him. Right-wing media outlets are claiming Bragg is backed by liberal philanthropist George Soros, accusing Bragg of running a politically motivated investigation that unfairly targets the former president, and claiming that an indictment of Trump would benefit his 2024 presidential campaign.
Right-wing media baselessly claim liberals are “weaponizing” the judicial system to punish political enemies
- Right-wing podcast host Steven Crowder warned that arresting Trump would be “how you start a civil war," saying, “Not saying I want it [civil war], but I'm saying if you look throughout history, jailing political opponents is, kind of, one of the key items that pops shit off.”
- Discussing a potential indictment, Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles said that “it's so obvious that the Democrats here just want to stop the people from having a chance to re-elect Donald Trump,” and he called for Republican governors state attorneys general to indict “prominent criminal libs”: “You should find every stupid little fake misdemeanor charge and you should trump it up as high as you possibly can.”
- One America News Network’s chief White House correspondent Chanel Rion suggested on Twitter that Trump would be a political prisoner and compared him to Jesus, Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, and nobel laureate Nelson Mandela.
- Conservative radio host Jason Rantz tweeted “Donald Trump will be arrested on misdemeanor charges next week by far-left DA Alvin Bragg, who rarely charges and prosecutes FELONIES against dangerous criminals” before asking, “We’re supposed to pretend this isn’t political?”
- On Fox & Friends Weekend, guest and attorney Sol Wisenberg characterized the charges as “a hyphenated term” that “starts with chicken and then it ends with i [and] t.” Wisenberg argued that such a case would never be brought against anyone other than Trump. “The question to ask yourself in a case like this: Would a case like this be brought against anybody else, whether he or she be president, former president, or a regular citizen? And the answer … is ‘no.’”
- Newsmax host Tom Basile claimed that the investigation into Trump “appears to be the weaponization of our justice system for political purposes.”
Right-wing media claim Bragg is a “radical” leftist backed by George Soros who “has to pay his master back”
- On Fox and Friends Weekend, Fox host Mark Levin attacked Bragg, saying, “What would you expect from a radical left-wing legal bomb thrower who’s inserted into this position by George Soros.” He accused Democrats of trying to “destroy the law and destroy the Constitution” and claimed, “Their whole goal is to destroy the civil society and the morality that undergirds.”
- On Fox Business’ Varney & Co., host Stuart Varney suggested Trump’s purported indictment and arrest were a “setup,” before adding, “I’m going to editorialize: This looks like a political charge inspired by raw Trump hatred.” Varney’s guest Fox News contributor Charlie Hurt argued that Bragg was on a “political jihad” that is “insane.”
- Newsmax and Daily Caller contributor Benny Johnson smeared the investigation as a “witch hunt” while rhetorically asking, “Is it any surprise that the driving force behind the Trump indictment witch hunt is a District Attorney in New York backed by none other than George Soros?”
- Fox & Friends Weekend co-hosts Will Cain and Rachel Campos-Duffy accused Bragg of prioritizing “a weak case against Trump” over Black lives. Cain asked, “How many Black lives have you sacrificed under a higher crime city with increased murder rates to devote a limited number of resources to the priority of pursuing a weak case against Donald Trump?” Campos-Duffy said the political left doesn’t “really care about Black lives or the working class or the poor” and blamed the alleged indictment on “a George Soros-funded D.A.” who “has to pay his master back” by prosecuting Trump.
- Fox News host Dan Bongino told his Fox Nation audience to “get the hell out of blue states as soon as you can” because “disgusting piece of garbage” Bragg “will find you and they will hunt you down if you’re a conservative.”
- Right-wing radio host Bo Snerdley baselessly claimed that “Bragg along with other Soros-funded DA's” are prioritizing investigations into Trump while “releasing repeat-offending criminals with low or no bail, and failing to prosecute real crimes.”
Right-wing media figures argue Trump arrest would backfire and benefit him politically
- Crowder speculated on his podcast that pursuing legal charges against Trump would start a civil war, stating, “Frankly, some of me thinks that maybe some people up top are saying don't do this because it will backfire. But if you arrest your political opponents, people who are actively seeking the presidency -- look, do you guys want to start a civil war? Because that's how you start a civil war.”
- Salem Radio’s Eric Metaxas compared a potential Trump indictment to “what the British wished to do” with the Founding Fathers, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. He also claimed that indicting Trump “will dramatically clarify the narrative for anyone still on the fence. Time to choose. Tyranny will lose. Again.”
- Right-wing host Todd Starnes tweeted, “The Manhattan District Attorney is about to guarantee @realDonaldTrump will win reelection in a landslide.”
- On Twitter, Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich said, “To arrest a former and future President is an act of hatred and poison and will further harden support for Trump while discrediting the left. Remember Hunter Biden!”
- National Review’s Rich Lowry tweeted, “Alvin Bragg is engaged in election interference, in favor of Donald Trump.”
- Conservative radio host Mark Simone tweeted: “Some now wondering if the DA is getting paid off to help Donald Trump get elected.”
- Echoing a tweet shared by Twitter CEO Elon Musk, Donald Trump Jr. claimed on Truth Social that arresting his father would “lead to landslide victory for Trump.”
- Breitbart’s Joel Pollack predicted that a potential Trump indictment would result in a “red tsunami” in 2024. He also tweeted, “Arresting Trump over the Stormy Daniels settlement, while the serious charges against Biden et al. go unaddressed, will launch a new era of political conflict in the United States. Short of civil war, but with deep divisions that make ordinary government operations more difficult.”
- On Truth Social, Students for Trump founder Ryan Fournier said, “If Alvin ‘chipmunk’ Bragg indicts President Trump.. it’s over. We will WIN in a landslide and we will handle Alvin. Choose wisely.”