Fox News Jess Watters suggests FBI planted evidence at Mar-a-Lago, citing only guesses and a 'hunch'

·3 min read
A screenshot of Jesse Watters on Fox News on August 9, 2022. On screen is a text saying "terrorizing political enemies" and the chyron reads: "FBI crosses a dangerous line."
Jesse Watters on August 9, 2022Fox News/Internet TV Archive
  • Fox News host Jesse Watters claimed the FBI "probably" planted evidence during its Mar-A-Lago raid.

  • He provided no evidence for the outlandish claim, to which a Trump lawyer has also alluded.

  • He also spoke of a "hunch" that the FBI "doctored evidence" to get the warrant — again without evidence.

Fox News' Jesse Watters said on Tuesday that the FBI "probably" planted evidence when it raided Mar-a-Lago, a claim for which there is no evidence, and which he made little effort to back up.

Around 24 hours after federal agents executed a search warrant at former President Donald Trump's Florida residence, Watters railed against the move on his show "Jesse Watters Primetime."

He said: "What the FBI is probably doing is planting evidence, which is what they did during the Russia hoax.

"We also have a hunch they doctored evidence to get the warrant — again, what they did during the Russia hoax."

He was backed up by Trump lawyer Alina Habba, who said she was "concerned" about evidence-planting.

Trump on Wednesday also alluded to the idea of evidence-planting in a Truth Social post, again without evidence.

Watters' talk of "what they did during the Russia hoax" was a likely reference to an unproven claim he made in February after a filing by Special Counsel John Durham. This was part of the investigation into the origins of the FBI's Trump-era Russia probe.

Durham raised a conflict-of-interest concern about a lawyer linked to the Democratic Party, and in so doing wrote about how the lawyer obtained data from Trump Tower servers in 2017.

Watters riffed on this, going so far as to say that "[Clinton's] hackers planted evidence, fabricated evidence connecting Trump to Russia," as Mediaite reported. Durham's filing didn't allege this.

The FBI has shared little information about its reasoning to take the unprecedented step of searching a former president's home. It has been widely reported on the basis of anonymous sources that the search related to classified documents sought by the National Archives.

On Tuesday, Watters demanded answers, and alleged that President Joe Biden was behind the raid, despite a public statement that he was unaware it was planned.

Watters' guest, Trump attorney Alina Habba, didn't need prompting to give credence to the idea that the FBI planted evidence at Mar-A-Lago.

She told him: "Quite honestly I'm concerned that they may have planted something." Watters did not ask her to explain.

Speaking on another network, another Trump attorney, Christina Bobb, shied away from making the same claims, though still casting doubt on the FBI's integrity.

She told conservative news network Real America's Voice: "At this point I don't necessarily think that they would even go to the extent of trying to plant information, I think they just make stuff up and come up with whatever they want."

 

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