On Tuesday, Aug. 30, President Joe Biden drove home the unacceptable comments made by Republican officials regarding searches of former President Donald Trump’s home and the possibility of prosecution. He specifically called out South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, referencing Graham’s statement about riots in the streets if Trump is prosecuted.
Speaking in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, about public safety, Biden said, “The idea you turn on a television and see senior senators and congressmen saying, ‘If such and such happens, there’ll be blood in the street. Where the hell are we?”
This comes after a Sunday night interview with Fox News, during which Graham stated that the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago had political motives. He said, “Most Republicans, including me, believe there is no law when it comes to Trump. It’s all about getting him. There is a double standard when it comes to Trump.” He added, “And I’ll say this if there is a prosecution of Donald Trump for mishandling classified information after the Clinton debacle … there will be riots in the street.”
This references the decision not to prosecute former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for having a small number of classified documents held on her private email server during the course of her 2016 presidential run. The FBI is investigating Trump for having highly classified and top secret documents (some that include human intelligence that could put lives at risk) at his tennis and croquet club, Mar-a-Lago, in Florida.
Others have pointed out that Graham’s comments are reminiscent of statements made by Trump himself before the January 6 insurrection.
However, Biden didn’t only put Graham in the spotlight. He also criticized Republicans for their attacks against the FBI and their demands that the agency be “defunded.”
This is occurring during an increase in online threats against the FBI and real-life attacks, including by a man armed with an AR-15-style assault rifle who attempted to storm the Cincinnati FBI field office. The suspect in that incident, killed in a standoff with officers, was identified as also having been at the US Capitol on January 6.
Biden also repeated a statement he made on Twitter, vowing to ban assault weapons, saying on Tuesday that he is determined to ban assault weapons in the US.
Biden went on to say that Republicans who defend the insurrectionists that attacked the Capitol on January 6 cannot also pretend to be supporters of the police. Over 140 police officers received injuries in the Capitol attack. “For god’s sake, whose side are you on? Whose side are you on? … You’re either on the side of the mob or the side of the police.”