NEW YORK, New York - Fox News has doubled down on the impeachment of President Donald Trump, with its top line commentators and other figures, including comedians heaping scorn on the trial, most calling it a charade.
The channel's highest profile commentator Sean Hannity went a step further on Monday night, on the eve of the trial, pressuring Republican senators, effectively jury members to dismiss the case.
Hannity, in a spirited attack on the Democrats, their leaders, and the articles of impeachment the Democrat-led House of Representatives has presented, called out Republican senators who may be wavering on whether to toe the party line or vote according to their conscience, to "do their job."
With a slide depicting the words 'Do your job,' the channel's top talk show host said: "For those Republicans, people you've elected who want to prove their own moral superiority, and sense of extra special fairness, you need to focus on your constitutional role. Period. Which is why the voters hired you."
Hannity went on to make demands of the Republican senators, but directed much of his commentary towards the voters, urging them to pressure the senators as well.
"Your senators need to hear from you," he told them.
The host of Hannity spent a little over ten minutes at the opening of his show on Monday night, setting out the legal case, or more so the president's legal team's defense, all the while lecturing Republican senators on what their role is, and instructing them on how to carry it out.
"And also tonight, the Democrats, their heinous, their unconstitutional, and outright, frankly dangerous articles of impeachment fantasy is being ripped to shreds, with President Trump's legal team calling it, rightly so, 'a dangerous perversion of the Constitution. A brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and to interfere with the 2020 election, now just months away,'" he said.
"They are bastardizing the constitution. No Republican senator. Listen, voters out there, you elect these people, should give this one iota of legitimacy."
"According to Article 1, Section 2, the House of Representatives have the sole power of impeachment," Hannity said.
"They've impeached the president."
"The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments," he said.
"You are doing the trial part."
"Now you, the American people, you need to know this. It is not your Republican senator's job to bolster what are pathetically weak articles of impeachment from the House. It is not your senator's duty to call witnesses that the House didn't even subpoena. It is not your representative's responsibility to investigate evidence the House neglected to examine. There are no do-overs. The Senate doesn't get to take on the constitutional role of the House."
"Senators review the articles of impeachment. That's it. As delivered by the House. They now have House managers. They will present their case. And your Republican senators need to render a verdict. That's it," Hannity said.
"Now listen closely. These articles are an affront to our entire constitutional system. The ramifications would transcend and alter the presidency, the executive branch of our government."
"Tomorrow morning you have the most radical Trump-hating members of the House will present these pathetic, weak arguments to the U.S. Senate. Their case consists of two insidious articles. The first, accusing the president of an impeachable offense, a crime that doesn't exist, a vague general, catch-all, charge they call abuse of power," the Fox News Channel's top talk show host said.
"The president's legal team, rightly, is calling this nebulous concept constitutionally defective. That's the tip of the iceberg. They wrote, quote: It supplants the framer's standards of bribery, high crimes and misdemeanors with a made-up theory, unconstitutional, that the president can be impeached and removed from office under these various, and undefined standard of well what, some abuse of power, what is that?"
"There's no crime. This is unconstitutional, so is the accusation."
"Tonight, the Senate must not.....Your elected senators must not capitulate, lend legitimacy to the demands of a compromised, in this specific case, congenital liar whose been lying to us for three years, Adam Schiff and the rest of his malignant house managers," Hannity said. "That's because this is a baseless impeachment. It has been a politically motivated witch hunt from the very beginning."
"Now there was no fairness, there was no due process, there was no fair investigation, all the considerations Newt Gingrich and the Republicans gave Bill Clinton and his attorneys, none of which were given to President Trump," Hannity said.
"Now it's the time for the U.S. Senate to fill your constitutional duty. Your senators need to hear from you. Now you've heard the Democrats pathetic case. They should now, the House has sole power....Bring your case. Make your case. Then the Senate render a verdict. Dismiss it. Because there's no impeachable offense here."