Senator Lindsey Graham interviewed with Hugh Hewitt’s nationally syndicated radio show. The South Carolina Republican gave a dire warning about the FBI raid that was carried out on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida. He said it posed a “dangerous” scenario for the nation.
Graham believes that the relentless attack from Trump’s political enemies has caused many in the country to be suspicious of the U.S. criminal justice system.
Here’s a brief transcript of the interview:
HEWITT: All right, let me close by going back to the raid on Mar-A-Lago. And details are not going to be clear for a day or so, but you get Merrick Garland in front of you, don’t you, on Judiciary pretty soon?
GRAHAM: Yeah, we just, yeah, we have oversight, and we had the FBI director there a few days ago. And here’s what’s playing out here. Okay, so the same agent that was involved in Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI analyst for Crossfire Hurricane who never gave any indication the Steele dossier was not worthy of respect, who knew about the Russian sub-source disavowing the document, never, you know, kept supporting the warrant application, that same guy was sitting on the Hunter Biden investigation that basically, you know, put a lid on it. So the FBI has got a problem with the conservative world to begin with. All I can say is nobody is above the law. None of us. But the politics around getting Trump have been going on so long and so often that we’re talking about Constitutional principles here. This is a dangerous moment for the American Constitution. We’ll see how this plays out.
HEWITT: Let me come back with one last question, Senator. I have here my Constitutional Law casebook which I use every year when I teach Con Law. It’s by Randy Barnett and Josh Blackman. In it is Brandenburg V. Ohio…
HEWITT: …which holds you must have the present intent and the present ability to cause violence in order to be charged with a violent act as a result of speech.
GRAHAM: Right, right.
HEWITT: The President gave a speech. Even if you take the worst view of that speech and you say he really wanted violence…
HEWITT: It doesn’t, it doesn’t pass the Brandenburg test. So they can’t get him on assault. They have to get him on seditious conspiracy. Honest to goodness, are they going to try and make that fly? Do they really think…
GRAHAM: Well, number one…
HEWITT: Go ahead.
GRAHAM: Yeah, well, number one, I’d hate to have to prove that Donald Trump conspired with anybody about anything.
GRAHAM: That means you’ve got to have a plan and stick with it. Good luck.
GRAHAM: So that’s not his strong suit. So he was a good president, but that’s not his strong suit. So the bottom line here is that the Brandenburg decision says political speech is among the most protected speech, right?
GRAHAM: So all politicians say inflammatory things. But the January 6 Committee has become a joke, because nobody’s asked the question what about the people who came to Washington the night before the speech with violent intent? What about the guy that planted bombs before Trump ever gave the speech? So the bottom line here is we’re getting in some very dangerous territory. The transfer of power did occur, and everybody saw what happened on January 6. It was a sad day for America, and I’m glad people who participated in the violence are being held accountable legally. But you know, the politician speaking to crowds, that is a tough test in terms of liability for actions of others. And as you said, this conspiratorial approach, just be careful what you wish for.
HEWITT: Yeah, will it make the President stronger, politically, to persecute him or prosecute him?
GRAHAM: From everything, listen, this guy, he’s been the most blessed person in the world in terms of his enemies. You know, he’s done some, you know, things that you and I don’t agree with. But his enemies have been so relentless, have lied so much, have manufactured so much over time, that I do believe that Republicans particularly have become suspicious of the legal system in America, used more often as a political tool than it should be. It depends on what they find. It depends on what they, they’re pursuing. But the desire to get Trump and the pressure to get Trump is unbelievable and unrelenting. This could be a very dangerous moment for the American Constitution. We’ll see where this goes.
HEWITT: Senator Lindsey Graham, thank you for joining me. Much appreciated.
GRAHAM: Yeah, thank you.