Fox News’ Sean Hannity called special counsel Robert Mueller “a disgrace to the American justice system” as conservatives escalate efforts to discredit the former FBI director and his probe into the 2016 U.S. presidential race.
The “Hannity” host questioned Mr. Mueller’s ability to lead an unbiased investigation into President Trump’s election near the start of his program Tuesday evening following reports that the special counsel’s office removed an FBI agent, Peter Strzok, for sending messages mocking Mr. Trump.
“We are going to actually show you with charts just how corrupt, abusively biased and political special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of so-called investigators really are,” Mr. Hannity said during his opening monologue before leading viewers through a series of graphs.
“Let’s start off with the head of the snake,” Mr. Hannity started. “Mueller’s credibility is in the gutter tonight with these new discoveries, his conflicts of interests, his clear bias, the corruption are on full display. Mueller is frankly a disgrace to the American justice system and has put the country now on the brink of becoming a banana republic.”
The entire diatribe lasted nearly 10 minutes and included repeated attacks against Mr. Mueller and several others connected with the special counsel’s probe into the 2016 race, including Mr. Strzok and Mr. Mueller’s top deputy, Andrew Weissmann, among others.
In addition to Mr. Strzok’s recently disclosed anti-Trump messages, Mr. Hannity faulted the special counsel’s office for hiring several investigators that have donated to Democratic campaigns.
“At least eight of the 16 lawyers that Mueller appointed to his team donated to Democrats like Obama and Clinton, including thousands of dollars to these campaigns. Not a single attorney Mueller appointed or hired donated to the Trump campaign or any other Republican presidential campaign,” Mr. Hannity said.
“All told, Mueller’s corrupt band of Clinton lovers, they’ve been responsible for over $50,000 in donations to Democrats” he asked. “We’re really supposed to believe that they’re fair and they’re unbiased in this investigation?”
The special counsel’s office did not immediately return an email seeking comment Wednesday.
The Department of Justice appointed Mr. Mueller in May to lead an investigating into the 2016 presidential race, including allegations of possible collusion between Mr. Trump’s inner circle and Russian operatives before and after his election in November 2016.
Mr. Trump’s defenders have taken aim at Mr. Mueller since the start of the probe, and those attacks have hardly died down after his office began announcing criminal charges against individuals associated with the Trump campaign.
Most recently the Justice Department announced charges last week against the president’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, making him the fourth person associated with the Trump campaign to be charged in connection with Mr. Mueller’s Russia probe. He pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents and is cooperating with investigators, according to the court documents.
Far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones responded to latest indictment Friday by claiming that the special counsel’s probe is part of a globalist plot to potentially kill the president and instigate a civil war, warning: “There’s no way you win this.”
The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board took a comparably subdued response, meanwhile, and published an op-ed Monday calling for Mr. Mueller’s resignation, citing alleged conflicts of interest.
Mr. Trump has frequently endorsed Fox News and Mr. Hannity over their cable news competitors, and the president praised a report aired on the “Fox and Friends” morning show as recently as Monday morning.
“The two most effective ways of communicating with Trump are ‘Fox & Friends’ and ‘Hannity,’” former House Speaker and Trump campaign surrogate Newt Gingrich said recently. “Occasionally, we’d talk on Sean’s show knowing Trump was watching.”