Donald Trump’s loyal propagandists at Fox News rushed to his defense on Monday night while awaiting details on his fourth indictment of the year, this time in Georgia.
Trump was charged Monday with “racketeering and a dozen other felonies, such as filing false documents, solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer, conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree and false statements and writings,” per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Eighteen Trump allies were also charged in connection with the scheme.
Fox hosts played a key role in disseminating the false claims of election fraud in Georgia that Trump used as the pretext for his effort to overturn the results in the state, and in hyping his fake electors plot.
Fox's primary function is to defend Trump at all costs — so while other outlets were reporting the few details that were trickling out prior to the indictments being unsealed, the network's personalities were busy denouncing the indictments they hadn't read.
Pete Hegseth, guest-hosting for Fox’s Jesse Watters Primetime, spent much of the 8 p.m. ET hour prebutting the then- pending Georgia indictment and hosting guests who criticized Trump’s likely prosecution.
As news broke that the grand jury was voting on the charges, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) aped right-wing media reactions to past Trump charges by warning of potential retribution. Graham told Hegseth, “You’ve opened up Pandora’s Box to the presidency. This whole exercise of allowing a county prosecutor to go after a former president of the United States will do a lot of damage to the presidency itself over time. To my Democratic friends: Be careful what you wish for.”
As the indictment paperwork was being taken from the grand jury to the courtroom, Trump lawyer Alina Habba described the situation as “election interference” and “political lawfare,” adding, “This country cannot take it anymore.”
But it was Sean Hannity, the longtime Fox prime-time host and sometimes Trump political operative who was on the air when news broke that the grand jury had delivered 10 indictments. He hosted a series of legal-minded Trumpist guests, including Habba, Jonathan Turley, Alan Dershowitz, Matt Whitaker, and Fox host Mark Levin to pan the charges.
Levin, who helped mastermind Trump’s election subversion scheme, opened his remarks on Hannity by claiming that “Stalin would be proud” of the pending Trump indictment, and escalated from there. He claimed that “the judicial system has completely been bastardized in these districts," compared the actions to those in “autocratic regimes,” and denounced them as a “grave attack on our judicial system” and ”an attack on the Republican Party.”
“We are drifting towards the greatest constitutional crisis since the 1850s," a similarly-unhinged Newt Gingrich added later in the program. The Fox contributor called Trump's numerous indictments “a desperate last ditch effort by a corrupt machine to destroy their most dangerous opponent, in a way which ... breaks the Constitution, destroys the rule of law.” He went on to urge House Republicans to cut off special counsel Jack Smith’s funding for his federal prosecutions of Trump, saying, “They should do whatever it takes to close down this entire anti-constitutional, ruthless breaking of the law. … I think this is so dangerous to the very survival of the republic that it has to be stopped.”