The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Hannity says calls to jail Trump make U.S. a ‘banana republic.’ Let’s review his tapes on Hillary Clinton.

Fox News host Sean Hannity slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for saying she'd rather see President Trump in prison than impeached. (Video: REF:carena/The Washington Post)

Sean Hannity spoke with fury on his Fox News show Thursday night about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is reported to have told fellow Democrats that she would rather see President Trump in prison after being defeated in the 2020 election than be impeached.

Hannity, a relentless Trump booster who scolds Democrats nightly on his show, said the comments were a sign that Democrats were “now the party of anti-Trump rage and psychosis.”

“For some reason even impeaching Trump apparently is not enough,” Hannity said. He called Pelosi’s remarks “beyond despicable behavior.”

Pelosi tells colleagues she wants to see Trump ‘in prison,’ not impeached

“That happens in banana republics,” he said. “By the way, they would literally turn in many ways the USA into a country we would no longer recognize.”

But many were quick to point to Hannity’s remarks as hypocrisy, bordering on dishonesty.

Hannity has regularly questioned why Hillary Clinton was not jailed for using a private email server while she was serving as secretary of state. A chorus of Republicans have made similar calls, immortalized by the Trump rally chant of “Lock her up” during the 2016 presidential campaign.

In an archival review of his show, The Washington Post counted at least 20 instances when Hannity, one of his guests or, in one instance, an audience member, questioned why Clinton wasn’t being jailed. Hannity never pushes back. Here are some of these instances:

May 28, 2015 — Clip of conservative commentator Mark Levin played by Hannity: “I don’t know how Hillary Clinton hasn’t served some time in prison given her background and what she’s done,” Levin said.

Aug. 13, 2015 — Hannity ended his show with the question of the day for his audience. “Based on what you know, do you think Hillary Clinton should go to jail over the server scandal?” he asked. “Let us know what you think.”

Sept. 8, 2015 — Hannity: “Can Hillary go to jail? We’ll examine that next.”

April 16, 2016 — At a live forum in which Hannity interviews Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) an audience member interrupts to yell, “Put Hillary in jail.”

June 26, 2016 — Hannity aired Trump’s statements at a campaign rally that Clinton “should be in jail.”

“Clinton still refuses to accept responsibility for what she’s done, and instead she’s tried numerous times to just brush it aside,” Hannity said, before going to his guests, Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow and Fox commentator Jeanine Pirro, to examine the potential for Clinton to be criminally charged.

“Isn’t the mishandling alone, Judge Jeanine, isn’t that in and of itself a crime?” Hannity asked.

“Yes,” Pirro said.

Nov. 1, 2016 — Hannity: “Hillary Clinton, follow my words, the media won’t say it, she should be in jail, not on the campaign trail. It’s about time somebody said it.”

Nov. 3, 2016 — Just days before the election, Hannity noted that “Hillary Clinton is campaigning to be the next president. She should be the one in jail."

May 11, 2017 — Hannity shares a clip of Trump calling for Clinton to be jailed: “We will investigate that,” he says, “and ask that important question tonight on Hannity.”

June 14, 2017 — Hannity and a panel debated the news that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III was investigating Trump for obstruction of justice.

“Why isn’t Hillary in jail, Jay?” he asked Sekulow, again a guest on the show.

Oct. 25, 2017 — Guest on Hannity’s show: “Somebody’s gotta go to jail over this,” he said about a Clinton-related issue.

Hannity: “Who are the top people in jeopardy?”

Guest: “Well, I think Hillary Clinton, anybody at the DNC ... ”

Hannity: “Eric Holder?”

Guest: “James Comey, in particular. Because he may have abused his office.”

Hannity: “Mueller? Mueller knew.”

Trump calls Pelosi a ‘nasty, vindictive, horrible person’ after she said she’d like to see him in prison

Oct. 26, 2017 — Hannity, listing off Clinton scandals: “Beyond serious stuff. This is go-to-jail type of things.”

Nov. 6, 2017 — Hannity: “Comey, the Obama Justice Department, were protecting Hillary Clinton for laws she broke that we’d be put in jail for.”

May 12, 2017 — Hannity: "That was the president, during the second presidential debate, saying what a lot of Americans, including myself think: Hillary Clinton needs to be prosecuted ... and then the proper punishment.”

Jan. 2, 2018 — Hannity: “This year is going to be massive in terms of news, especially about the corrupt media. And there are very very nervous — rightly so — people like Hillary Clinton. They should be nervous. People will be going to jail, I promise you.”

March 9, 2018 — Hannity speaks of an FBI informant who “has damaging information on the Clintons that potentially could send them to jail.”

May 3, 2018 — Hannity: “Equal justice would mean Hillary goes to jail.”

June 14, 2018 — Hannity: “We know people that committed the very same misdeeds as Clinton; well, they were investigated and many put in jail. That is why Comey was fired and should be investigated further.”

June 18, 2018 — Hannity: "The very same people, they put the fix in and rigged what would’ve put any other American in jail with Hillary.”

April 23, 2019 — Hannity introduces a clip of Rush Limbaugh, saying that the radio host has “a few choice words for hypocrite Hillary.”

“Hillary Clinton needs to be investigated. She needs to be indicted, and she needs to be in jail,” Limbaugh says on the clip Hannity played.

March 7, 2019 — Hannity: “By the way, when is Hillary going to be charged?”

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