On Fox News Tuesday night, fireworks exploded as Geraldo Rivera explicitly accused former President Donald Trump of encouraging rioting at the United States Capitol building.
Sean Hannity, the show’s host, started by questioning Rivera about why Congress was only looking at the Capitol incident and not the other disturbances that occurred in reaction to the murder of George Floyd last year.
Rivera said that the previous riots were not an assault on the American republic and political system in the same way that this one was.
“This was a riot that was unleashed, incited, and inspired by the president of the United States, which targeted the heart of American democracy” Rivera charged.
Hannity attempted to divert criticism by stating that Trump had encouraged demonstrators to behave “peacefully,” ignoring the reality that Trump failed to instruct the rioters to leave the Capitol for more least three hours after the violence began.
Rivera reacted by referencing Hannity’s own messages to Meadows during the rioting, in which he asked Trump to issue a statement encouraging people to leave.
“I beg you, Sean, to remember the frame of mind you were in when you wrote that text on January 6,” he said. And when Laura did. And when Brian did. And when Don Jr. did! Remember that concern you had. Remember the frustration you had at our beloved 45th president.”
Guest Dan Bongino wasted no time in accusing Rivera of betraying his Trump’s trust.
“The backstabbing of the president you’re engaging in is really disgusting!” he fumed.
Geraldo to Sean Hannity: “I beg you, Sean, to remember the frame of mind you weren’t when you wrote that text on January 6. And when Laura did. And when Brian did. And when Don Jr. did!”
Dan Bongino reacts by blasting Geraldo for “backstabbing” Trump. pic.twitter.com/YSPYfBwAf4
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) December 15, 2021
Donald Trump Jr., along with Fox News stars like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, begged White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to get the president to make a national address and end the Capitol riot.
“He’s got to condemn this shit ASAP,” Donald Trump Jr. texted Meadows. “The Capitol Police tweet is not enough.”
“I’m pushing it hard. I agree,” Meadows responded.
“We need an Oval Office address. He has to leave now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand,” the president’s son responded.
An assistant to Donald Trump Jr. refused to comment on the newly revealed discussion, one of many with Meadows read aloud at the meeting by Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), a member of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 violence. According to Cheney, Donald Trump Jr. texted Meadows “again and again.”
Several Fox News personalities also contacted Meadows, pleading with the president to intervene.
Donald Trump confidante “Can he make a statement. Ask people to leave the Capitol.” Ingraham wrote: “Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy.”
And Fox & Friends’ Brian Kilmeade texted: “Please, get him on TV. Destroying everything you have accomplished.”
The messages were diametrically opposed to what Fox personalities were saying on the air: Ingraham, Hannity, and Kilmeade all suggested in the immediate aftermath of the Capitol riot that left-wing activists were to blame or that America deserved it for subjecting then-President Donald Trump to the Russia investigation.
“We knew this would happen when you had a huge group of people descending on Capitol Hill, when you have members of the Trump support organizations and antifa threatening to show up at the same time,” Ingraham exclaimed on Jan. 6.
“We’ll learn more to the extent that that happened. I’m getting a sense that there’s clearly a big split in the MAGA groups that have come to peacefully protest with whoever is behind this intrusion in the Capitol, which by any account is unacceptable.”
During his afternoon radio broadcast that day, Hannity agreed with a caller who believed that the Capitol mayhem was caused by antifa, adding that he “heard these reports that they might even wear MAGA gear” and he didn’t “know who the people are” rushing the building.
On his primetime program that night, the Trump confidant and unofficial adviser—who had spent weeks before bolstering his pal’s false “stolen” election narrative—said it was likely that the mob was infiltrated by “bad actors” from the “radical left.”
Kilmeade, who previously said that he “not know Trump supporters that have ever demonstrated violence that I know of in a big situation,” suddenly blamed the Russia investigation for inciting MAGA supporters to violence.
“I think this is a culmination of four years of them denying that their president won the election, claiming that the Russians flipped votes, this is four years of investigation, four years of a very frustrated electorate, 75 million that voted,” the Fox & Friends star fumed. “They feel that they have not had their day in court, let alone lost in court.”
Despite the fact that Hannity hosted Meadows to discuss the committee’s contempt vote, neither Hannity nor Ingraham acknowledged the text messages on their broadcasts Monday night. A request for comment from Fox News was not returned.
During the committee hearing, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) stated that investigators had also been analyzing text messages received by Meadows from other lawmakers. “The committee is not identifying these politicians at this time, as our inquiry is continuing,” the congressman stated before reading them aloud.
While other terrified legislators just begged Trump to end the siege, one text message came from an elected person who offered a strategy to block legislative certification of the 2020 election results.
“On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all,” it read.
Another note from a different politician expressed remorse for not being able to prevent Joe Biden from becoming president, rather than the Jan. 6 violence.
“Yesterday was a terrible day. We tried everything we could in our objection to the six states. I’m sorry nothing worked,” it said.
Following the reading of the text conversations, the House committee unanimously agreed to recommend that Meadows be charged with contempt of Congress for failing to appear and testify in response to a subpoena.
The committee has already done the same for former White House advisor Stephen Bannon and senior Justice Department officer Jeffrey Clark.
“History will be written about these times, about the work this committee has undertaken. And history will not look upon any of you as martyrs,” Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, the Democrat who chairs the committee, said, mentioning Bannon, Clark, and Meadows by name.
“History will not dwell on your long list of privilege claims or your sleight of hand… I predict that history won’t be kind to those people.”
Cheney said that Meadows’ testimony was required to properly comprehend Trump’s “extreme dereliction of duty” during the insurgency.
“Did Donald Trump, through action or inaction, corruptly seek to obstruct or impede Congress’s proceedings?” she asks, practically word for word quoting the federal statute for “obstruction of proceedings” in an apparent hint to the possibility of criminal charges against the former president.
Meadows was originally scheduled to appear for a deposition on Oct. 15, but when his counsel sought more time, both parties began talks that lasted almost two months.
He eventually surrendered roughly 9,000 pages of documents, including emails and text messages from personal accounts and devices. But he enraged the committee by refusing to appear in person behind closed doors to answer questions under oath.
“It’s time to see if the Department of Justice can be more persuasive. No one is above the law, not even the president’s chief of staff,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican on the committee.
Source by [author_name]