Fox News anchor Bret Baier has vehemently denied any communication with the Department of Justice (DOJ) prior to his interview with former President Donald Trump. Baier’s interview with Trump gained attention due to the former president’s comments that seemed to imply obstruction of justice, according to legal experts.
During the interview, Baier questioned Trump about his failure to return requested documents to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which subsequently issued a subpoena for the materials. Trump responded by stating he was preoccupied and hadn’t yet removed personal belongings from the boxes before returning them.
Baier then pressed further, referring to an indictment which alleged that Trump instructed an aide to move the documents to different locations while instructing his lawyers to claim full compliance with the subpoena, when in fact the documents hadn’t been returned.
By reading from the indictment, Baier effectively cross-examined Trump and obtained his own admission, without the need for special counsel Jack Smith’s direct questioning. Smith is expected to leverage Trump’s own words to support his case that Trump knowingly conspired to obstruct justice and withheld documents from a federal grand jury, as stated in counts 32 and 33 of the indictment.
The interview’s impact led some Trump supporters to accuse Fox News of colluding with the DOJ to trap the former president. Responding directly to such allegations, Baier refuted any suggestion that he was recruited to aid investigators.
Baier: Why not just hand them over? Trump: Because I had boxes, I want to go through the boxes and get all my personal things pic.twitter.com/PwW85wlTzH
— Acyn (@Acyn) June 19, 2023
“I’ll answer that. No. I wrote my own questions,” Baier asserted in response to claims that he may have been in contact with the DOJ. “And frankly, I didn’t know that I would get much on the indictment questions, assuming he might say he couldn’t talk about it. Thanks for watching.”
Baier’s firm denial attempts to dispel the conspiracy theories surrounding his interview with Trump. His assertion of independently crafting the questions aimed to assure viewers that there was no collusion between Fox News and the DOJ. While Trump’s supporters may continue to voice their suspicions, Baier’s insistence on his journalistic integrity serves to counter the allegations.
I’ll answer that. No. I wrote my own questions. And frankly I didn’t know that I would get much on the indictment questions assuming he might say he couldn’t talk about it. Thanks for watching. https://t.co/J17r0RqPit
— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) June 21, 2023
The controversy surrounding the interview highlights the ongoing polarization of public opinion regarding Trump and his legal challenges. With the trial approaching, the role of media outlets like Fox News in shaping public perception will undoubtedly be scrutinized by both supporters and detractors of the former president.