Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.
Right-wing media immediately seized on the announcement that former deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe will not face criminal charges to generate outrage and push for President Donald Trump to pardon his longtime adviser Roger Stone.
Prosecutors announced that they are not pursuing criminal charges against McCabe in a letter on February 14. The investigation began in 2018 after a referral from the Justice Department inspector general, Michael Horowitz, who alleged that McCabe misled investigators about a media leak. The new announcement from prosecutors indicates that the case against McCabe has been closed.
Right-wing media have called for months for Trump to pardon his longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone, who was convicted in federal court on seven charges, including lying to Congress and witness tampering. In particular, right-wing media have ramped up calls for Trump to pardon Stone as the Department of Justice and Stone’s attorneys submitted their recommendations to the court for his sentencing, which will be on February 20. Trump has already granted clemency or pardons to controversial right-wing figures during his term, including Joe Arpaio and Dinesh D’Souza, and the president said on February 12 that he won’t rule out a pardon for Stone.
With the announcement that McCabe will not face criminal charges, right-wing media immediately used it as an opportunity to inaccurately compare him to Stone and to say that Trump needs to pardon Stone. In many cases, they also called for Trump to pardon former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in December 2017.
Claiming that DOJ’s treatment of these cases is hypocritical is a bad-faith argument being used to downplay Stone’s crimes and create faux outrage — common tactics of right-wing media. Here are some of the most egregious examples:
- Human Events publisher Will Chamberlain
- Human Events Managing Editor Ian Miles Cheong
- Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk
- Turning Point Action’s Ryan Fournier
- Conservative radio host Buck Sexton
- Newsmax TV host John Cardillo
- Fox News contributor Mike Huckabee
- One America News Network host Liz Wheeler
- Pro-Trump conspiracy theorist and OANN host Jack Posobiec
Photo Credit: Marc Nozell