Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, suggested that on Sunday Fox News that officials should stop inquiries into former President Donald Trump’s misconduct, warning that an indictment against the former chief executive could result in violence by his loyalists.
Graham, himself a Trump loyalist, didn’t acknowledge the attack on the U.S. Capitol building by a mob of Trump’s most ardent followers On January 6, 2021In his comments.
Instead, Graham suggested that inquiries into Trump were political and claimed that “there is no law” that the Department of Justice (DOJ) or other agencies adhere to.
“It’s all about getting him. There is a double standard when it comes to Trump,” Graham said.
The senator’s comments brush off evidence of Trump’s misdeeds, including his Mishandling of hundreds highly classified documentsThe former president stored it in an unsanitary manner at his Mar-a-Lago estate. Even though a subpoena was issued earlier in the year for the return documents, it did not stop there..
Many of the materials Trump kept at Mar-a-Lago were also there dealt with sensitive issues relating to national security.
Graham said that Trump’s supporters would react violently if the DOJ charged the former president with a crime.
“If there is a prosecution of Donald Trump for mishandling classified information…there will be riots in the street,” Graham said.
Graham’s warning, which he repeated later on in the program, was shared by Trump on his Truth Social profile.
Many on social media condemned Graham’s comments.
“What exactly motivated Graham to make these comments?” questioned MSNBC producer and blogger Steve Benen. “The rhetoric seemed to straddle the line between warning and threat. ‘Let Trump get away with crimes,’ the senator seemed to suggest, ‘or his followers will turn violent.’”
“Lindsey Graham is now claiming that there will be riots if Trump is prosecuted,” said Aaron ParnosA Democratic strategist. “Not only will this rhetoric incite violence, but it shows that he believes Trump should be above the law.”
“Threats of violence should NEVER stop the pursuit of justice. NEVER. And you KNOW that Lindsey,” said former GOP congressman Joe WalshGraham, and directing his comments at him.
“Is this supposed to dissuade Garland from treating Trump like anyone else who had committed this crime?” asked former FBI agent and national security analyst Asha Rangappa. “@LindseyGrahamSC is an absolute embarrassment to our country.”
Wajahat Ali is a columnist The Daily Beast, noted that Graham’s comments would have resulted in a much greater backlash if they had come from a person of color.
“Imagine if Muslims and Black people threatened potential violence against the country and law enforcement if they investigated us…imagine the outrage, the headlines, and the discussions,” Ali wrote.
“Trump, [Missouri GOP Sen. Josh] Hawley, Graham, and MAGA do it…eh, both sides,” he went on.