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“Real Time” host Bill Maher pushed back against the notion that a President Ron DeSantis would be the same if not worse than having former President Donald Trump back in the White House.
Maher kicked off the panel discussion Friday night with the ongoing Jan. 6 House Select Committee hearings and cited a poll that showed “54%” of Americans believe the former president should be charged with a crime, “including 21% of Republicans.”
“But the committee says they will not refer this to the Justice Department. Why?” Maher asked. “Why isn’t it moving into that realm? And if we don’t, it will just happen again, no?”
“Breaking Points” podcast co-host Krystal Ball responded by knocking the “fundamental lack of seriousness” from Democrats for not tackling the question as to what truly led to the events of Jan. 6 where a large portion of the country does not believe in the results of the presidential election. She also panned the Democrat-led strategy of propping up Republicans in primary races who deny the 2020 election’s legitimacy with the hopes of defeating them easier in the November midterms.
“But that’s not really my question,” Maher said. “I mean, yes, if the guy robbed the liquor store, let’s look into why he did that. But also, he needs to be arrested for robbing the liquor store.”
The Jan. 6 committee hearing is investigating whether President Donald Trump can be criminally charged for the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot over the 2020 election results. (Getty Images)
Tablet Magazine columnist James Kirchick called Trump a “menace” who “may have committed crimes” but cautioned the prosecution of a former president, citing how former President Gerald Ford “did the right thing” by pardoning Richard Nixon after Watergate.
Ball said she has “no issue” with Trump being prosecuted, but insisted “that’s not going to solve our problem,” suggesting that the Republican Florida governor would follow in Trump’s footsteps.
“Do you think that Ron DeSantis is going to be way better than Donald Trump?” Ball asked.
“Yes, yes I do,” Maher quickly responded while raising his hand.
“He hasn’t shown contempt for the democratic process,” Kirchick told Ball.
“He’s not certifiably insane. That’s a great one to start off with,” Maher said. “You know what Ron DeSantis won’t be doing? He won’t be poop-tweeting every day. It won’t be, like, having feuds with Bette Midler on Twitter. He’s not an insane person.”
U.S. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. (Reuters)
Maher later pivoted back to Kirchick’s warning about prosecuting a former president, suggesting it could spark political violence across the country.
“That’s a very dangerous road to go down. And it’s very fainthearted,” Maher told the columnist. “We have to be scared of what the criminals will do if we charged them for being criminals? That can’t — that’s not really the way to go.”
Ball doubled down on her argument that charging Trump with crimes over Jan. 6 wouldn’t “fix the core problem.”
“Would you say that about criminal justice in general, that it doesn’t solve the problem?” Maher asked.
“Sure,” Ball responded. “Of course. Yes… that is dealing with a symptom of the rot in our society.”
“Arresting criminals and putting them in jail does not help the problem of crime?” Maher pressed his guest.
“She should run for DA in San Francisco,” Kirchick quipped, referring to the recently ousted progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin.
Joseph A. Wulfsohn is a media reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to email@example.com and on Twitter: @JosephWulfsohn.