Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is defending his controversial prediction that former President Donald Trump being prosecuted over his handling of classified documents would spark “riots in the streets.”
Graham who made the original comments during an appearance on Fox News’s Sunday Night in America last weekend, told CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick on Saturday that he was simply trying to “state the obvious” about the realistic consequences of the Justice Department bringing charges against the leader of the Republican Party. He rejected left-wing critics who argued he was advocating for GOP-led anarchy.
“What I tried to do was state the obvious,” Graham told Sedgwick at the Ambrosetti Forum in Italy. “Here’s what I said: The raid on President Trump’s home, the likely nominee for 2024, better bear some fruit here. If it’s just about mishandling classified information, we’ve had a standard set when it came to Hillary Clinton.”
The South Carolina lawmaker then noted how his party’s frustration had grown with the years of investigations into the former president, telling Sedgwick: “The people on our side believe that when it comes to the justice system, there are no rules regarding Trump, [it’s a case of] ‘get him, it doesn’t matter how you get him.’ So I said that if it’s similar to what happened to Clinton and he gets prosecuted, it’ll be one of the most disruptive events in America.”
“All those people who defiled the Capitol should go to jail,” Graham said, later adding, “I don’t want to pardon the January 6th people because that seems to reinforce the narrative that this is okay. I said something I really believe — if he does what she did with classified information and he gets prosecuted and she didn’t, it would create a problem.”
Republicans have unified behind the former president in the wake of the unprecedented search of his Mar-a-Lago estate in early August by federal agents. The FBI seized dozens of boxes of containing classified documents during the raid that Trump had brought back with him to his Palm Beach, Fla., resort after leaving office. Federal authorities have defended the search as necessary to retrieve those materials for national security purposes.
Regardless of if the Justice Department brings charges, the incident has amplified long-held Republican concerns that the FBI treats Democratic political figures far better than Republicans.
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