Really just the worst ‘Groundhog Day’ remake we’ve got going on here.
The last time Donald Trump urged his supporters to rally around his failed attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election, it ended with members of congress huddled behind locked doors, convinced they were about to be raped and murdered by a violent mob. With that in mind, it seems safe to say that Trump’s recent call for the “biggest protest we have ever had” in the event of any future indictments against him should be taken as a direct threat on the part of someone who has demonstrated a clear willingness to use violence for his own means in the past.
Speaking at his much-hyped Texas rally this weekend, Trump lashed out against the “radical, vicious, racist prosecutors” who are investigating him for any number of grotesque misdeeds. Warning that if prosecutors “do anything wrong or illegal” — which, in his mind, is anything that threatens him and his allegedly ill-gotten fortune — Trump urged “the biggest protest we have ever had — in Washington, D.C, in New York, in Atlanta and elsewhere because our country and our elections are corrupt.”
Trump’s not-so-veiled threat was rendered all the more ominous by his promise during that same speech to pardon the same insurrectionists he pushed to attack the Capitol Building more than a year ago in his failed coup attempt on January 6. Taken in conjunction, it’s easy to read between the lines here: do whatever it takes to protect Donald Trump and, in exchange, he promises you won’t get in any trouble, no matter what happens.
Despite the valiant effort from dedicated Trump-sycophant Sen. Lindsey Graham to act deeply concerned over his patron’s unambiguous threat of violence (“I think it's inappropriate” Graham claimed on Sunday’s Meet The Press. Strong words!) the former president’s “nice country you got here... would be a shame if something were to happen to it...” protection racket scheme has already prompted some of those very prosecutors targeted during Saturday’s speech to take the prospect of potential harm seriously. On Sunday Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis — the woman spearheading the investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia — called upon the local FBI field office to increase her security, citing “escalated” security concerns following the former president’s speech.
“My staff and I will not be influenced or intimidated by anyone as this investigation moves forward,” Willis said in her letter to the bureau, while also noting that “we must work together to keep the public safe and ensure that we do not have a tragedy in Atlanta similar to what happened at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.”
Whether Trump’s insinuations of violence will actually lead to a repeat of his failed insurrection attempt remains to be seen. What’s clear, however, is that this is a man who has learned his lessons from his failures in the weeks and months following his electoral loss, and is now setting the stage for a second — potentially worse — attempt to seize power through brute force, if necessary.