'Lock Up Hillary Clinton': Fox News Defends Trump Asking Ukraine for 'Help' Investigating Mueller Probe, Steele Dossier

Fox News personalities moved to defend President Donald Trump on Tuesday, claiming that during the phone call that sparked the impeachment inquiry he was simply "asking for help" from Ukraine with an official Justice Department probe into the origins of the Mueller investigation.

Fox News contributor Marc Thiessen and Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy ridiculed Democrats and other Trump critics for launching the impeachment inquiry in the wake of the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. They argued Democrats were "conflating" two topics in the conversation: the Justice Department's probe and what they described as Rudy Giuliani's "opposition research" into the Bidens.

Thiessen argued that if Giuliani or the Justice Department had violated Federal Election Commission rules, then Democrats should be pushing to "lock up Hillary Clinton."

"The Ukraine phone call is troubling for a reason: Donald Trump is helping the Democrats conflate these things because he lumped in [Attorney General William] Barr with Rudy Giuliani, and there should be a firewall between those two things," Thiessen said on Fox & Friends. "There's nothing wrong with Rudy Giuliani going out and investigating Hunter Biden or even doing opposition research for the president, because that's what the Steele dossier was, right?"

Former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele's dossier was first crafted at the behest of conservatives tied to The Washington Free Beacon, who were behind the initial contracting of a group tied to Steele as part of opposition research against Trump when he was competing for the Republican nomination.

As Newsweek previously reported, the Beacon dropped the project once Trump won the Republican Party nomination for president. The dossier was ultimately handed over to members of the Clinton campaign for similar opposition research.

"The Democrats' defense of the Steele dossier was 'that's opposition research, everybody does it.' If that's a campaign violation, then let's lock up Hillary Clinton because she did the exact same thing," Thiessen added.

Thiessen repeatedly tried to separate the components of the conversation: "Rudy Giuliani investigating Hunter Biden and his activities with Ukraine, which is a private activity—it's an opposition research activity, in fact. And the Durham investigation, which is an official Justice Department investigation into the origins of the Mueller probe, which is being carried out by John Durham, who is a career prosecutor."

He continued, "There's nothing wrong with the president of the United States or the attorney general talking to foreign leaders and saying, 'I want you to cooperate with an official Justice Department investigation.... There's nothing the matter with Donald Trump asking a foreign government for help because it's a Department of Justice investigation."

Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy agreed. "Right, and that's one of the reasons that the attorney general is out and about trying to talk to these foreign governments, saying, 'Hey, can you help our Department of Justice? We're trying to get to the bottom of what happened in 2016, not what's going to happen in 2020,'" Doocy said.

Thiessen sarcastically questioned why the people who were "so concerned" with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation "have suddenly lost interest" in any potential wrongdoing tied to Democrats from the 2016 presidential election.

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'Lock Up Hillary Clinton': Fox News contributor Marc Thiessen portrayed Trump's Ukraine call as part of investigation into Mueller probe Screenshot: FOX NEWS
'Lock Up Hillary Clinton': Fox News Defends Trump Asking Ukraine for 'Help' Investigating Mueller Probe, Steele Dossier | Politics