National Security

Former top DOJ official: Graham warning of ‘riots’ if Trump is prosecuted ‘incredibly irresponsible’

Mary McCord, a former top official at the Department of Justice, knocked Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Monday for comments warning there would be “riots in the streets” if former President Trump is prosecuted for his handling of classified materials found when the FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago home. 

“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,” McCord said on CNN’s “New Day.”

McCord, who was acting assistant attorney general for national security at the DOJ and is now executive director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, said Graham’s comments were in line with former President Trump’s wink-and-nod “game plan” of indirectly encouraging supporters toward violence.

“‘People are angry, they may be violent,’ and then what [Trump] knows and what Lindsey Graham also knows … is that people listen to that and people actually mobilize and do things. Jan. 6 was the result of this same kind of tactic by President Trump and his allies,” McCord said.

Both the DOJ and a House select committee are investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S Capitol and wider efforts to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.

A Georgia special grand jury is also investigating attempts by Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election results in the state, and Graham is fighting a subpoena to appear in that case.

Earlier this month, the FBI executed a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and found classified documents kept past the end of his presidential term. 

Appearing on Fox News’s “Sunday Night in America,” Graham said Trump was being treated with “a double standard” compared to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her private email server, and warned that “if there’s a prosecution of Donald Trump for mishandling classified information … there’ll be riots in the streets.”

The recently unsealed warrant indicates Trump is under investigation for possible violations of the Espionage Act and other laws in relation to the documents and classified materials. 

“It’s irresponsible, it’s dangerous. It’s a threat to our democracy, and I think he should be ashamed of himself,” McCord said of Graham.

Tags Department of Justice DOJ Georgia special grand jury Hillary Clinton Jan. 6 Lindsey Graham Lindsey Graham Mar-a-Lago Mary McCord Search warrant
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