Sean Hannity wants the January 6 Committee to believe he’s a journalist

In the months preceding donald trump2016 Election Victory, Fox News Host Sean Hannity used his massive media platform to openly help his “friend” defeat hillary clinton––an approach he justified by insisting that he is not a journalist and does not have to respect journalistic ethics. “I make no secret of the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next President of the United States,” Hannity said in August 2016, adding, “I never claimed to be a journalist.” Earlier that year, the Fox News star admitted that if he were to interview Clinton, he would go after her “a hundred times harder than any Republican” because he is an openly partisan actor. “I’m not a journalist, I’m a talk show host,” he concluded.

However, on Tuesday Hannity’s lawyer Jay Sekulow insisted the House Select Committee investigate the Capitol riot — which released the text messages Hannity sent to Trump’s former White House chief of staff mark the meadows–treat your client like a journalist and offer them the same protections that members of the press enjoy under the First Amendment. “We are evaluating the letter from the committee. We remain very concerned about the constitutional implications, particularly with respect to the First Amendment,” wrote Sekulow. “We will respond as appropriate.” Separately, to Axios, Sekulow mentioned “concerns about press freedom”.

The text messages in question, which were obtained as part of 9,000 pages of documents Meadows handed over after being subpoenaed, show how Hannity acted as a key outside adviser to the former president during his last days in power. A week before the Capitol riot broke out, Hannity questioned Trump’s strategy to void the election and warned it could lead to mass resignations from the White House. “We can’t lose all of WH’s advice [sic] Office. I don’t see January 6 going like this [Trump] is said,” Hannity wrote in an exchange with Meadows. On the night of Jan. 5, Hannity texted Meadows again, writing that he was “very worried for the next 48 hours” while expressing concern over Trump’s attempt to pressure Mike Pence to intervene in the election certification process. On the afternoon of January 6, as violence erupted around the Capitol building, Hannity pleaded with Meadows to try to end the attack. “Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the Capitol,” he wrote. “Ask people to leave the Capitol peacefully.” Finally, on January 10, Hannity reacted to the House’s attempt to impeach Trump by telling Meadows and Rep. Jim Jordan that Trump “can no longer mention the election. Never. I didn’t have a good call with him today. And worse, I’m not sure what else is left to do or say, and I don’t like not knowing if it’s really understood. Ideas ? »

The chairman and vice chairman of the bipartisan committee asked for Hannity’s cooperation in the investigation. “We have no doubt that you love our country and respect our Constitution,” wrote committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson and Vice President Rep. Liz Cheney. “Now is the time to move forward and serve the interests of your country.” In the Tuesday evening edition of Hanity, the host lashed out at the “cowardly swamp creatures” and the “media crowd”, though he ultimately dodged the issue by not responding directly to the committee’s request. He also did not address the role his personal messages and advice to Trump played in the Jan. 6 investigation. Instead, he allowed his lawyer to speak for him, with Sekulow releasing his “First Amendment” statement shortly after Hannity’s show ended.

When asked to comment on the committee’s request and Hannity’s attorney’s reference to the First Amendment, a Fox News spokesperson mentioned vanity lounge to Sekulow’s statement. The question of whether Hannity is a journalist, and subject to the professional and ethical obligations that come with it, has already been raised. While Hannity has both denied being a journalist and described himself as such – “I am an advocacy journalist or an opinion journalist,” he said in 2017 –the Washington Post struggled the following year to get a direct response from his employer following the revelation that Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen also represented the Fox News host. At the time, a spokesperson for the network would admit that Hannity is “an opinion talk show host.”

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