OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Fox News anchor Bret Baier responded to the news Tuesday evening that former President Donald Trump was indicted over allegations linked to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol invasion by pointing out how “tough” the federal judge assigned to the case has been on rioters who came into her court.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, an Obama appointee, has been called “the toughest punisher” of Jan. 6 rioters, something that Baier alluded to during a morning show segment with “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday.
Here’s a partial transcript (see video below):
AINSLEY EARHARDT: Yeah, I mean, many are asking why. Two and a half years later, if there was a problem, why didn’t they throw these charges at him? Two and a half years ago or two years ago, even Bret.
BRET BAIER: Yeah, I think listen, one of the things is the judge in this case, as you talked about, or Judge Chutkan in D.C., appointed by President Obama in 2014, nominated by him. She made the decision for the January six committee to get access to White House files and have access to everything that they had access to. That decision enabled what is in this indictment. She’s also been very, very tough on the sentencing of January 6th rioters. So it’s going to be tough with that judge.
And as far as why now? You know, I think that there are some people looking at it saying, I wonder if this is, there’s not all there yet. You know, you mentioned the six coconspirators. Is there the possibility that they’re holding out an olive branch, that they may cooperate further and there would be a superseding indictment after this that includes perhaps linkage to the rioters themselves? That is not in here. And it’s noticeably absent.
Separately, Fox News’ Dana Perino suggested that Trump should commit to appearing at the first GOP primary debate, which the network will host on Aug. 23 in Milwaukee, after hinting on multiple occasions he would skip it.
“I was just thinking, if I’m President Trump and I haven’t committed yet to the debate, I might be thinking ‘I want to be at that debate to defend myself,'” Perino said during a segment on Wednesday. “And also, imagine, he’ll be able to be in that room with all of his competitors and be able to ask each one of them: ‘Are you with me or are you not with me?'”
“I’m just thinking from a strategic standpoint, if you have that commanding of a lead, and you want these people behind you, and you know the Republican Party faithful is behind you, why wouldn’t you want to try to put it away that night?” she continued, suggesting that the multiple indictments could be taking a toll on Trump’s support within his own party.
“Well, I totally agree, and I think it would be fascinating if it happens, don’t know if it will or not,” Baier, who also made an appearance on Perino’s program, responded.
“Vice President Pence’s statement yesterday that no person can put himself above the Constitution, that person should not be president again, but most of the other, almost all of the other statements dealt with a two-tiered system of justice, and all of these candidates are walking a line because they know, as you point out, the GOP primary voters look at this and say ‘this is a raw deal,'” Baier added.
As for Chutkan, she “had worked at the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner from 2002 until she was confirmed a federal judge in 2014,” the UK’s Daily Mail reported, adding:
Boies Schiller has strong connections to the Democratic Party and then-second son Hunter Biden — whose dad President Biden is likely to face Trump in the 2024 election — was of counsel at the firm from 2009 to 2014.
It is not known if the two ever had any interaction while working there.