Moments after Attorney General Merrick Garland wrapped up his short Thursday news conference about the FBI raid on former Donald Trump’s Florida residence, Fox News anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum invited the network’s most fervent viewer to immediately phone in with his reaction.
Following days of dangerous, irresponsible and overheated rhetoric from Trumpworld and right-wing media about the search warrant executed on the ex-president’s Mar-a-Lago estate, Garland finally broke his silence on Thursday afternoon.
Aside from confirming that Trump’s lawyers did receive a copy of the search warrant and property receipt at the time, the attorney general also revealed the Justice Department has filed a motion to unseal those documents. Trump’s team can also release that information at any time, but can also request that the warrant remain sealed.
Garland also said that he personally approved the search of Trump’s property, which is related to an investigation into whether the ex-president improperly removed classified documents from the White House when he left office. Furthermore, he rebuked the “unfounded attacks” made against the FBI and DOJ by conservatives. Trump allies, including those at Fox News, have suggested that agents “planted evidence”when removing material from Mar-a-Lago, while the judge who approved the search warrant has faced death threats.
Following Garland’s presser, MacCallum first spoke to former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who explicitly said that Trump hasn’t done himself “any favors” by suggesting FBI agents “had an opportunity to plant evidence.” Mukasey added that it would be “fairly unremarkable” if Trump’s attorneys weren’t allowed to directly observe the FBI’s search, knocking down a current MAGA talking point.
MacCallum would then bring on Baier to discuss the fallout from Garland’s presser, with Baier insisting “we have a lot more questions now” and that they have entered into “unchartered territory.” He also noted that, as long as Trump doesn’t object, the public should eventually see the search warrant.
“I’ll tell you something else that feels unchartered to me, that is the silence from the former president,” MacCallum reacted.
“He’s not known for being silent,” Baier quipped.
The pair noted that while Trump has released some “forceful statements” and a campaign-style video on social media, he hasn’t made a public appearance to deliver a response yet. This prompted Baier to issue an open offer to Trump.
“We should point out that we welcome the former president to come on our air and sit down for an interview on all of the issues,” the Fox chief political anchor stated.
“Absolutely,” MacCallum declared. “We’ll open the phone line now if he would like to respond to what Attorney General Garland just said. We also are looking for an answer to the question, ‘Do you want to release that warrant?’”
Prior to this week’s scorched-earth reaction in defense of Trump over the FBI raid, there had been a growing (and ultimately wrong) consensus that Fox News had been distancing itself from the twice-impeached ex-president in an effort to move onto other Republicans ahead of 2024. Outside of some Murdoch-owned editorial boards writing critical op-eds, one data point that was spotlighted to make this case was Trump’s recent lack of airtime on the network.
It appears that Fox News is looking to rectify that in short order.