Fox abruptly cuts off impeachment manager during testimony

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In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., speaks during the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. (Senate Television via AP)

NEW YORK – Fox News Channel cut off an impeachment manager in mid-sentence Wednesday as he was presenting dramatic video footage of the mob attacking the U.S. Capitol last month and government leaders running for safety.

“The political math doesn't add up,” Fox's Jesse Watters said. “Democrats don't have the votes, yet they're still pressing ahead.”

The incident was a dramatic illustration of the tightrope walked by programmers at television networks that appeal to fans of former President Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial.

Fox, along with ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC, had been covering House managers outlining their case against Trump live for nearly five hours Wednesday. While sometimes dry and methodical, the presentation reached an emotional climax when California Rep. Eric Swalwell showed graphic video, much of it not seen before.

That's when Fox cut things off, shortly after 5 p.m. Eastern, when the network started its commentary show “The Five.”

“This is all emotional, political theater,” said cohost Greg Gutfeld, one of four commentators to speak against impeachment before an exasperated Juan Williams was given a chance to talk.

“I'm kind of shocked,” Williams said. “I want you guys to come back. Come back, join the conversation. Pay attention to the news.”

Williams described the case that House managers were building as chilling and an important exercise in democracy. “The impeachment trial that you're all ignoring, I guess you're afraid ...”