In an appearance promoted by Trump on Monday morning, Hannity pushed further against McCabe, suggesting "criminal charges" are likely.
With the firing of FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe accomplished, Fox News host and Trump confidant Sean Hannity is now suggesting McCabe will be imprisoned.
Trump spent his weekend waging a campaign of lies against McCabe and special counsel Robert Mueller, then first thing Monday morning told his Twitter followers to watch Sean Hannity. Trump tweeted, with great specificity: ".@seanhannity on @foxandfriends now! Great! 8:18 A.M."
When Trump's followers tuned in to "Fox & Friends," they saw Hannity lead off his interview by saying, "If I had to expect, you're going to see criminal charges against Andrew McCabe."
"I would also argue it's gonna go a lot deeper," Hannity said, and accused the leadership of the current FBI and Justice Department of "serious issues, crimes."
The balance of the segment consisted of a rehash of lies and conspiracies about Hillary Clinton, but Hannity's opening suggests a new front in the war against McCabe, and anyone else who figures to damage Trump in the Russia investigation.
About half an hour after Hannity's appearance on "Fox & Friends," Trump tweeted the angry sentence fragment "A total WITCH HUNT with massive conflicts of interest!"
Hannity, it should be noted, is not just another cable TV host to Trump. The Fox News host frequently speaks privately with Trump, and has advised him in the past on how to handle the Russia investigation.
Trump's attacks over the weekend demonstrate a transparent desperation to attack the credibility of the Russia investigation, and of McCabe in particular. In trying to paint McCabe and the FBI as criminals, Hannity is taking the next step in Trump's ongoing strategy.
But Trump's war on the Russia investigation is beginning to erode the ranks of Republicans who are willing to go along with him quietly, if only slightly. Eventually, Hannity may become the last Trump cheerleader standing.