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Lindsey Graham Says There Will Be ‘Riots in the Streets’ if Trump Is Indicted as if His Fans Didn’t Riot in the Streets When He Was President

Trey Gowdy and Lindsey Graham speak in split screen on a Fox News show.

Senator Lindsey Graham appeared on Fox News this weekend to add his voice to the chorus of those trying to stir up as much fear and anger as possible over the FBI’s search of Donald Trump’s home. We don’t want to get our hopes up too high but after the reported seizure of a trove of highly classified documents, the chances that Trump might actually face criminal prosecution are looking fairly good.

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According to Lindsey Graham, if that happens, Trump’s supporters will turn violent. “If there’s a prosecution of Donald Trump for mishandling classified information, after the Clinton debacle, which you presided over and did a hell of a good job, there’ll be riots in the streets,” he told Trey Gowdy, who recently traded in his job in Congress for a gig hosting at Fox News.

The idea that far-right extremist groups will react to Trump’s indictment with violence is a very real danger. Users on pro-Trump internet forums have been using terms like “lock and load” and “civil war” to prepare for that possibility. But you can tell from Lindsey Graham’s tone that when he talks about that danger, it’s not out of concern or condemnation—it’s a threat.

As one former DOJ official told CNN following Graham’s comments, “I think it’s incredibly irresponsible for an elected official to basically make veiled threats of violence, just if law enforcement and the Department of Justice and a grand jury does their job.”

In addition for their “civil war” prep, Trump’s most extreme supporters have already been issuing threats and even attempting violent attacks against those involved in the search and seizure, including FBI and the judge who signed the initial search warrant. Comments like Graham’s are a justification—essentially an endorsement—of those attacks.

Meanwhile, the guy who recently swore he wanted to help bring down the “temperature” of the country is over on his bespoke social media platform also encouraging violence over legitimate political proceedings.

Graham’s threat that a Trump indictment will cause “riots in the streets” is especially ludicrous because we’re only a year and a half out from when his supporters rioted in the street when he was still president.

Yes, we know that Trump fans are fragile, violent snowflakes who cannot handle political loss and will riot if they don’t get their way. The answer is not to give in and let Trump steal an election or get away with various crimes.

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.

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