Fox News claimed a 2020 email showed “Biden’s DOJ cover-up.” There’s just one problem.

House Republicans on Thursday will kick off an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden that promises to be heavy on right-wing media conspiracy theories but lacking in anything resembling actual evidence of his wrongdoing. Apparently, the House GOP’s  strategy is to flood the zone with duplicitous nonsense, counting on their propagandists to back them up (and on mainstream journalists to fail to properly contextualize their propaganda).

Here’s an example of how that strategy works. 

On Wednesday afternoon, as House Republicans sought to prepare the groundwork for the impeachment inquiry’s first hearing, the House Oversight Committee’s X account posted, “Newly released emails and documents show that Delaware Assistant US Attorney Lesley Wolf DID NOT ALLOW AGENTS TO INVESTIGATE JOE BIDEN as part of a FARA probe” of Biden’s son, Hunter. 

The post included an email from Wolf to FBI investigators in which she asks for a search warrant to be redrafted because parts of it are not “within the scope of this warrant. Please focus on FARA evidence only. There should be nothing about Political Figure 1 here.”

The Oversight Committee is obviously trying to suggest that the Justice Department under Biden was stifling the investigation into Hunter Biden in order to cover up some nefarious deeds. But the email is dated August 7, 2020, meaning that it was sent while Donald Trump was president and his appointees, William Barr and David Weiss, were Wolf’s superiors as attorney general and U.S. Attorney for Delaware, respectively.

That night, Fox News star Jesse Watters turned the Oversight Committee’s subtext into text, while either lying to his audience or demonstrating his own abject stupidity along the way. 

“More emails released proved the Biden administration blocked foreign influence-peddling investigations into Joe Biden,” Watters falsely claimed. As he spoke, on-screen graphics showed portions of the Wolf email — but not the date on which it was sent, during the Trump administration — while a chyron falsely claimed, “More evidence of Biden’s DOJ’s cover-up.”

Video file

Citation From the September 27, 2023, edition of Fox News' Jesse Watters Primetime.

If they had actual evidence of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” they wouldn’t need to lie like this. But they don’t, so that’s what we’re going to get.