FIGHT! PBS NewsHour Pundits Hotly Disagree on a New Special Counsel for Trump

News & Politics

The Friday night “Week In Review” pundits on the PBS NewsHour had an actual disagreement, with Jonathan Capehart scribbling furiously during the more conservative half of the debate. The lead topic was Attorney General Merrick Garland naming another special counsel to hound Donald Trump.

While Capehart hailed the move as “huge news” meant to “build confidence” in the independence of going after Trump — insert snickers — fill-in panelist Gary Abernathy forecasted another Mueller-type slog with daily media obsession over Trump’s potential to land in prison. 

ABERNATHY: I feel bad for the American people, frankly, because, much like the Mueller investigation, we’re in now for day after day of headlines, and commentary, and speculation, and breaking news, and leaks about what the special — what the special counsel is investigating and which direction it’s going and what it means for us all.

And that’s too bad, not to say this wasn’t a proper step, Amna, but it would be nice if the prosecutor could do his work and then announce later what he’s found, without all the speculation and headlines in between. But we know from Mueller and the Russia report how this is going to play out.

Abernathy said there’s not a “strong legal case” against Trump after the Mar-a-Lago raid, and “the same with the January 6 investigation,” with “nothing that really seems to rise to level of criminality.” Abernethy worried it would unite the Republicans around Trump for 2024 just as Trump’s appeal seemed to be fading. 

Anchor Amna Nawaz said to Capehart “Jonathan, I see you scribbling furiously.” 

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Capehart insisted “This is not a bad day for the American people because a special counsel was appointed. This is a fantastic day, because it tells the American people that the gears of justice are grinding on Donald Trump, in the sense that he is not above the law. He is at some — is being held accountable through the special counsel process.”

But that’s no different than last time. Capehart carped the last time was ruined by Attorney General William Barr, who somehow “baked a narrative” that Trump wasn’t guilty, when Mueller issued no indictment of Trump.

CAPEHART: The one thing that’s different between this special counsel and what happened with Robert Mueller is that we have an attorney general who, when he gets this gets this report, he’s not going to hold on to it, recast it in a way that mischaracterizes what the report actually says, and then releases it long after the narrative has been baked, and it’s almost impossible to tell the American people or even show the American people what really happened.

This kind of complaint sounds ludicrous, since the “baked narrative” of Trump in perennial legal peril was sold by the leftist media throughout the Mueller probe, not the crumbling result at the end. That legal-peril narrative continues to this day.

Nowhere in this segment did anyone mention that the Biden Justice Department never resorted to a special counsel in the Hunter Biden investigation.

The PBS NewsHour is supported in part by…you, the American taxpayer. But you can send a note to NewsHours sponsors like Consumer Cellular and Fidelity. 

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