Donald Trump recently appeared to raise the threat of violence if he is prosecuted — something which could happen in multiple contexts, considering the wide-ranging investigations he is facing. During a speech this week hosted by the think tank the American Enterprise Institute, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) shared urgent warnings about the looming threats from Trump.
“Bit by bit, excuse by excuse, we’re putting Donald Trump above the law,” Cheney said, slamming Trump’s normalization. “We are rendering indefensible conduct normal, legal, and appropriate as though he were a king. And now, Donald Trump has been suggesting, not even subtly, that any legal action against him could result in violence. Our former president is apparently now suggesting that if he is prosecuted his supporters should stand up to our constitutional order and the rule of law — stand up, and through whatever means are needed, prevent his prosecution, prevent the application of the law… Is this where the Republican Party will go next — that prosecution is inappropriate because MAGA will violently oppose it?” There has still been no substantial break with Trump inside the GOP. Check out Cheney’s comments below:
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) calls out GOP for treating Trump like “a king”:
“Trump has been suggesting… any legal action against him could result in violence… Is this where the Republican Party will go next — that prosecution is inappropriate because MAGA will violently oppose it?” pic.twitter.com/2Yi37DVi2R
— The Recount (@therecount) September 20, 2022
Neither GOP leader in either chamber of Congress has said anything with the effect of trying to shut down Trump’s dominance in a meaningfully long-term sense. Sure, Kevin McCarthy temporarily realized violence was bad and people who pushed for or even provided the foundation for violence were also not all that great (good job, Kevin; it must have been a tough one), but then he promptly dumped any post-riot self-reflection into oblivion and pushed forward with his Trump allegiance. He even backed replacing Cheney in her party leadership role. Cheney is a committed conservative whose voting record reflects as much, and yet, that apparently doesn’t matter enough to keep most high-profile figures in the party on her side.
Asked about ramifications of his potential prosecution, Trump told journalist Hugh Hewitt: “I don’t think the people of the United States would stand for it… If it happened, I think you’d have problems in this country the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen before.” Was Trump trying to make a mafia-style threat against prosecutors? Hewitt asked Trump for clarification on the nature of the problems he was referencing — clarification Trump conspicuously refused to provide, leaving the threat relatively open-ended. Meanwhile, the House committee investigating the Capitol riot, where Cheney is vice chair, will soon restart its public hearings. Another hearing publicly outlining evidence is apparently slated for next week.