Fox News Is Having a Nuclear Meltdown Over the Feds Raiding Mar-a-Lago

Gun Rights

The FBI raided Donald Trump’s estate in Palm Beach on Monday, reportedly in search of any leftover classified documents he may have taken from the White House. The search began in the morning, but didn’t make the news until later, when the former president announced the “prosecutorial misconduct” just in time for Fox News’ primetime propaganda lineup to have a collective conniption over the Justice Department spending the day at Mar-a-Lago.

Jesse Watters set the tone early, ranting about how the Justice Department is giving Democrats a pass while going after poor, innocent Trump. Dana Loesch, the former National Rifle Association spokesperson, agreed. “There’s more evidence to implicate the Bidens than there is for the Trumps,” she claimed. “Everything they’ve accused the former first family of, it seems like it’s the Bidens that have done it.” (Loesch did not point to anything indicating Biden absconded from the White House with classified documents.)

The other common right-wing reaction to the raid suggested FBI needs a complete overhaul, starting at the top. “I don’t see how this guy has any credibility whatsoever,” Watters said of FBI Director Chris Wray. “He’s got to go.” (Watters did not seem to care that Wray was appointed not by the radical Democrats, but by Trump himself.)

Will Cain, who filled in for Tucker Carlson on Tucker Carlson Tonight, cast the raid in historical terms, wondering if it marked a “seminal moment” that “generations will look back on and ask, ‘Was this a moment we broke apart or we were able to come together?’”

Cain then asked whether there was an “evidentiary” or “legal” basis for the raid, or if it was simply a “partisan witch hunt.” (Cain mentioned that Trump allegedly took classified documents from the White House to Mar-a-Lago almost immediately before wondering if there was any basis for the search.)

Fox News was even able to wrangle a few members of Trump’s family to comment on the raid. Lara Trump said she didn’t see any issue with the former president potentially stealing classified documents from the White House. “My father-in-law, as anybody knows who’s been around him a lot, loves to save things like newspaper clippings, magazine clippings, photographs — documents that he had every authority to take from the White House,” she explained to Cain before transitioning into a rant about Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Her husband, Trump’s son Eric, made the same point to Sean Hannity an hour later. “My father always kept press clippings, newspaper articles, pictures, notes from us,” he said. “He had boxes. He moved out of the White House. He’s very collaborative. If you want to search for anything, come right ahead. It was an open-door policy, and all of a sudden 30 agents descend upon Mar-a-Lago?”

The Trumps likening classified documents to press clippings may have been amusing, but others suggested a more terrifying response. Russ Voght of the Center for Renewing America told Laura Ingraham that Republicans need to “dismantle the FBI into a thousand bits” and “prepare for a church style commission next year if given a Republican majority.”

“When we get power back, it’s time to hold everyone accountable,” Ingraham added. “The military leadership, the civilian leadership, the civil service, those in Congress who have abused their power — all of them have to be held accountable.”

The raid has stirred up such a frenzy on Fox News and throughout the right-wing media ecosystem because it gives conservatives an excuse to do the thing they love to do more than anything else in the world, outside of maybe making it harder for people to get insulin: Paint themselves as victims. Trump’s entire ethos revolves around the idea that he, a white man born into wealth and handed every advantage in life, has been wronged by society. Republicans have gladly taken after their leader — and as Fox News’ primetime programming on Monday made clear, they’re willing to use the Justice Department executing a search warrant on a man suspected of committing a crime as the latest piece of evidence that conservatives are under assault by an unjust system.

“Make no mistake,” Hannity warned, “if you are associated with Donald Trump in any way, you better cross all your I’s and dot all your T’s, because they’re coming for you with the full force of the federal government.”

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