How CNN, Fox, MSNBC covered it
Your move, Donald Trump.
That was the bulk of the cable network’s coverage of U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s brief statement on Thursday, in which he addressed the FBI’s search of the former president’s Florida home on Monday.
Garland said during his appearance before the media that he decided to unseal the search warrant used during the search of Mar-a-Lago.
“I think it was a brilliant press conference and the right thing to do in these extraordinary circumstances,” said MSNBC legal analyst Neal Katyal.
Joe Concha, media and political columnist for The Hill and guest on Fox News, disagreed and quickly decided to drag the White House into the fray.
“I think the look just made it worse for the White House,” Concha said, later adding, “It was a burger with nothing, basically, no bun.”
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This is nonsense, of course – moving to unseal the search warrant is a big deal indeed. And Katyal, like others, pointed out that Garland’s action places the blame on Trump, his lawyers and his supporters.
“It was a bit of a set up or a close for Donald Trump’s team,” said Evan Perez, CNN’s senior justice correspondent.
“They had the land for a few days, laying charges. And now it’s up to them if they want to go to a judge and try to get the judge to say no, your honor, you can’t release these documents that the Justice Department says is in the public interest that we see.
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Kaitlan Collins, CNN’s chief White House correspondent, echoed Perez.
“For about 72 hours now, Trump, his lawyers and his allies have been driving the narrative around this search warrant,” she said, “framing it their way and their way and calling it unfair and politically motivated. And now the Department of Justice is challenging them to explain why they don’t want these documents released.
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Katyal went even further down this path.
“It’s the right thing to do, but it’s a key chess move,” Katyal said, “because for the last 48 hours Donald Trump has been gossiping with the Republican Party saying this research is abusive. and so on, and we all said, look, you’ve got the warrant, give it to us, and now Garland has found a separate way to release it.
Speculating on what Garland would say
The press conference caught the media off guard – it was announced about an hour ahead of schedule, then delayed for more than half an hour. This opened up an ocean of speculation as to what Garland might be saying.
“It better be good,” Martha MacCallum said on Fox News.
“Every word will count,” said Bret Baier, also on Fox News. “And every word spoken will make a difference in how it’s covered in the future.”
It certainly moves the story forward, as the wait begins to see if Trump will try to block the unsealing of the mandate. If Lara Trump’s appearance on Fox News was any indication, the Trump team will continue its tactic even when the decision is made, hyperbolically portraying the former president as a political martyr.
And Fox News will continue to be Fox News.
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Lara Trump railed against Mar-a-Lago raid on Fox News
“I’ve had so many people contact me over the past few days saying we can’t sleep, our stomachs are in knots, because it’s not something…that you assume will ever happen in America,” Lara Trump says, “and yet here we are and we’re just supposed to accept what the GA came out and said. We had no information.
She later told MacCallum that the research was “something we would expect to see in a third world country”.
“Well, you’re not alone in that feeling, that’s for sure,” MacCallum said.
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Of course, Garland’s brief appearance will do nothing to quell the rampant speculation, at least until a judge decides to unseal the warrant. Where this leads is an ongoing story, and a big one.
“We’re in uncharted territory here,” Baier said at one point.
I’m not sure about that. With Lara Trump’s reaction, it seems like we’ve been here many times and still can’t escape.
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