‘Was He in on It’? Stelter Suggests Hannity Helped Plot Capitol Riot

CNN media bootlicker Brian Stelter understood his assignment Tuesday after the Democrat-led House January 6 Committee said they wanted to speak to Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity about his messages to former Trump administration officials before, during, and after the riot. Mocking the serious First Amendment questions, Stelter was giddy as he baselessly speculated that Hannity was somehow involved with plotting the riot at the Capitol.

Meanwhile, on ABC’s World News Tonight, chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl shared the messages in question and they didn’t show that at all. In fact, they seemingly proved the opposite.

During the 3:00 p.m. hour of CNN Newsroom, co-hosts Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell announced the story and went to Stelter for his “reaction.” And the excitement in his voice was palpable as he opened by accusing Hannity of lying to his audience (Click “expand”):

Well, I think the big question that a lot of people are going to want to know, including Sean Hannity’s viewers, is: what is Sean Hannity hiding? What does Hannity know that he’s been hiding from his audience?

Because he has an audience of millions of people who rely on him, who trust in him, who believe him, even though he’s given them many reasons to disbelieve. So, what has he been hiding from them for the past year?

Hannity’s lawyer raised questions about the First Amendment and his role as a media figure, but Stelter dismissed them because he said Hannity was former President Trump’s “shadow chief-of-staff” and we needed to know “what that shadow chief-of-staff knew in the days leading up to the riot.”

Stelter also made the ridiculous argument that because Hannity was a critic of the media, he didn’t have a First Amendment right:

And let’s also remember that Sean Hannity has repeatedly and loudly for the last 11 or 12 years said journalism is dead in America. He says journalism is dead but all of a sudden as soon as there’s a request from a legal committee he doesn’t like, he wraps himself in the First Amendment flag and says this would breach the First Amendment.

This further proved that the only First Amendment rights the liberal media were concerned about was theirs and theirs alone.

Is he in on it in some way? As we know, we’re learning about this vast conspiracy. Was he in on it in some fashion? If not, I’m sure he’ll want to share that as well,” he speculated without evidence.

Camerota stared at him seemingly bewildered by what she had heard in Stelter’s rant and blinked as she wondered pointedly: “Well, I mean, when you say ‘what is he hiding,’ you mean if he refuses to show up. At the moment, what makes you think that he’s hiding anything?”

According to Stelter, he believed Hannity was involved in plotting the riot because he was big Trump supporter and talked with him on the phone before and after his shows (like many CNN journalists do when they have their friends on their shows).

But apparently, the committee released the messages and CNN seemingly didn’t want to share them. Perhaps it’s because they really didn’t show what Stelter claimed they did. Because the messages Karl read on ABC showed Hannity to be seemingly out the loop in the days leading up to January 6 and unheeded during and afterward:

He texted, quote, “We can’t lose the entire White House counsel’s office. I do not see January 6 happening the way he is being told.” On January 5th, the day before the insurrection, the committee says Hannity seemed to sound the alarm, texting, “I’m very worried about the next 48 hours.”

And the next day, those fears were realized. During the riot, Hannity texted meadows, quote, “can he make a statement, ask people to leave the Capitol?” That night on Fox News, Hannity condemned the rioters.

Karl also noted that Hannity condemned the rioters and called for them to go to prison later that night.

The transcripts are below, click “expand” to read:

CNN Newsroom
January 4, 2022
3:52:38 p.m. Eastern

VICTOR BLACKWELL: Brian, we know there were the text messages that Hannity sent to Mark Meadows, then chief of staff: ‘Can he deliver some remarks, can he ask people to leave the capitol?’ Your reaction now to this appeal from the committee to get Hannity to cooperate.

BRIAN STELTER: Well, I think the big question that a lot of people are going to want to know, including Sean Hannity’s viewers, is what is Sean Hannity hiding? What does Hannity know that he’s been hiding from his audience?

Because he has an audience of millions of people who rely on him, who trust in him, who believe him, even though he’s given them many reasons to disbelieve. So, what has he been hiding from them for the past year?

I think it’s very significant this is voluntary, it’s not a subpoena. It is not a situation where we’re going to be talking about a dramatic First Amendment debate. Certainly, if it did escalate to that point there would be interesting questions about the role of a media personality who acts as a shadow chief-of-staff to a former president and what that shadow chief-of-staff knew in the days leading up to the riot. This is an interesting First Amendment issue at some point, but this is just a voluntary request.

And let’s also remember that Sean Hannity has repeatedly and loudly for the last 11 or 12 years said journalism is dead in America. He says journalism is dead but all of a sudden as soon as there’s a request from a legal committee he doesn’t like, he wraps himself in the First Amendment flag and says this would breach the First Amendment.

So, I think it really comes down to that key question. What’s he hiding? What does he know over the past year that he hasn’t told his viewers or told the public? Is he in on it in some way? As we know, we’re learning about this vast conspiracy. Was he in on it in some fashion? If not, I’m sure he’ll want to share that as well.

ALISYN CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, when you say “what is he hiding,” you mean if he refuses to show up. At the moment, what makes you think that he’s hiding anything?

STELTER: Well, I think for the past year he has defended Donald Trump and promoted Trumpism, even though he was text messaging on January 6 trying to stop what was going on just like so many others at Fox and elsewhere.

You know, as I reported on Fox over the years, people have always singled out Hannity as the single biggest Trump sycophant and the most important adviser to the then-President. He was on the phone with Trump before and after his shows in primetime. They essentially produced each other’s shows and he produced Trump’s presidency.

And so he certainly knows more than he has shared about what happened between Election Day and the insurrection. I think that’s absolutely true because he was on the phone. He was texting and all of this, of course, Alisyn, goes to the bigger issue: the pro-Trump media set the stage for the riot. And that’s something the 1/6 committee wants to explore.

(…)

ABC’s World News Tonight
January 4, 2022
6:45:43 p.m. Eastern

(…)

JONATHAN KARL: On December 31, a week before the insurrection, Hannity seemed to warn Meadows that top lawyers at the White House were on the verge of resigning en masse to protest Trump’s plans to overturn the election.

He texted, quote, “We can’t lose the entire White House counsel’s office. I do not see January 6 happening the way he is being told.” On January 5th, the day before the insurrection, the committee says Hannity seemed to sound the alarm, texting, “I’m very worried about the next 48 hours.”

And the next day, those fears were realized. During the riot, Hannity texted meadows, quote, “can he make a statement, ask people to leave the Capitol?” That night on Fox News, Hannity condemned the rioters.

SEAN HANNITY: And all of today’s perpetrators must be arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

KARL: And days after the riot, Hannity wrote Meadows and Congressman Jim Jordan, describing a difficult conversation he had just had with Trump. Writing, quote, “He can’t mention the election again. Ever. I did not have a good call with him today. And worse, I’m not sure what is left to do or say and I don’t like not knowing if it’s truly understood.”

(…)

View Original Source Source