Is that a threat, Lindsey Graham?
“If there’s a prosecution of Donald Trump for mishandling classified information, after the Clinton debacle…there’ll be riots in the streets,” the Republican South Carolina senator told his former congressional colleague from South Carolina Trey Gowdy, now the host of Fox News’s Sunday Night in America.
Trump soon shared the clip with his small “semi-fascist” following on his failing site Truth Social.
On one level, the clip was funny: There have never been two less threatening thugs than Graham and Gowdy. Gowdy, of course, chaired the House Select Committee on Benghazi, which tried to pin the 2012 Libyan terror attacks, which killed four Americans, on then–Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Hence the reference to the “Clinton debacle.”) Every time Trump whines about his persecution, I fantasize about his enduring 13 hours of mostly hostile questioning in front of a House committee, the way Clinton did. It would not end well for him; she was unscathed.
Gowdy insisted that Clinton be prosecuted; rightly, she was not. But his committee did discover the existence of her private e-mail server, and the FBI’s botching of its investigation into that non-scandal may well have cost Clinton the presidency.
So score one for Gowdy. But he’s now at Fox, not in Congress, and I only knew that because his friend Lindsey seemed to make a threat against the country. Haven’t heard about Gowdy for a long time.
Far from being happy that the Benghazi hearing proved no wrongdoing by Clinton but nonetheless ended her political career and put the country in the hands of a lunatic, Graham and Gowdy are peeved. So it’s time to promise mayhem if the investigation into Trump’s absconding with hundreds of classified documents—which apparently revealed human intelligence agents, US sources, methods of intelligence gathering, and who knows what else—results in his prosecution.
I’m not saying Graham himself promised to lead the riots. He will not. I’m sure he’d be like Senator Josh Hawley if they ever got close to the Capitol, fist-pumping the insurrectionists from afar and then running away from them as fast as he can.
Trump of course has been making a version of this threat, too. Apparently, he sent a “message” to Attorney General Merrick Garland: “The country is on fire. What can I do to reduce the heat?” That sounded to many of us like a mob boss telling you it would be a shame if your house were torched over your gambling debts. But The New York Times insists Garland was merely “befuddled” by the message. I doubt that, but I don’t have the Times reporters’ sources.
Oh, and in that same conversation with Gowdy, Graham also threatened “riots” over the Fulton County, Ga., grand jury investigation into Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 results there—in which Graham is resisting subpoenas to testify. Apparently thinks he can scare District Attorney Fani Willis with threats of civil unrest. He can’t.
This kind of rhetoric will get louder the closer the Justice Department comes to Trump. I absolutely believe there will be riots if Garland does the right thing. Now that people like Graham are promising them in plain sight, law enforcement can be prepared, too.
I’m aware of my impulse to mock these guys and their promises to go wild in the streets. Obviously, Graham and Gowdy won’t. But we know many people in Trump’s “semi-fascist” following will. I will now put Graham in that “semi-fascist” category, since he is trying to achieve his agenda with a threat of force.
“I’ve never been more worried about the law and politics as I am right now,” Graham told Gowdy.
You should be, Lindsey. Because both are coming for you.