Fox News host Sean Hannity on Tuesday night staged a stunt — a cocky stunt that he surely knew would enhance his standing in President Trump’s Washington. In anticipation of former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s testimony before two House committees, Hannity recommended a slew of questions for Republican lawmakers. Example:

“At any point, Mr. Mueller, did you think to investigate if there was a premeditated fraud committed on the FISA court to spy on the Trump campaign?” said Hannity on his Tuesday night show as he role-played for his audience. “Mr. Mueller, in your final report, the dossier was hardly even mentioned. That is a lying, bought and paid for Russian dossier, paid for by Hillary Clinton. Why did you not investigate that?”

By one count, 18 GOP questions to Mueller in the first several hours overlapped with Hannity’s suggestions. That’s juice. It was as if an army of little Hannitys had taken their seats on Capitol Hill.

Watch them, you’ll see:

The Mueller hearings revealed Sean Hannity's outsized influence on Trump is also driving GOP members of Congress. Erik Wemple warns against this. (Erik Wemple/The Washington Post)

The show of force comes right on top of ample and uncontested evidence of Hannity’s influence at the White House, via regular phone calls with Trump, tweets reflecting the president’s consumption of “Hannity” content and the host’s status as “shadow chief of staff.”

What’s next for Hannity? The federal courts?

No other television news host can match this level of influence on day-to-day governance. Of course, most of Hannity’s competitors would prefer not to make their mark in the industry by spreading lies, half-truths and conspiracy theories.

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