Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., spoke out Saturday against a possible indictment of former President Donald Trump from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, urging the 2024 GOP presidential candidate to fight back and “take this all the way to the damn Supreme Court.”
“The prosecutor in New York has done more to help Donald Trump get elected president than any single person in America today,” said Graham, speaking from Charleston, South Carolina, at the Palmetto Family Council’s Vision ’24 Forum, a prominent conservative Christian event.
In New York City, “you’re lucky if you don’t get mugged on the way to where you’re going. Is this really the most important thing going on in Manhattan?” Graham questioned. “I think this is an effort that’s ongoing, never ending to destroy Donald Trump, everything around Donald Trump.”
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Graham also questioned the legal reasoning behind the potential indictment, quoting a New York Times report that said the possible charges rested on an “untested and therefore risky legal theory.”
GOP South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, right, spoke Saturday about the potential indictment of former President Donald Trump by the office Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, left. (Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images, AP Photo/Meg Kinnard )
“They’re making stuff up that they’ve never used against anybody because they hate Trump. That’s what this is. They’re brewing a legal cocktail, to try to come up with some bizarre theory,” Graham said. “The law never used by anybody in New York, just because they hate Trump. You know why they’re doing this? Because they’re afraid of Trump. That’s why they’re doing it.”
Graham referred to the targeting of Trump as “selective prosecution” and said that if he were Trump, he would “take this all the way to the damn Supreme Court.”
The comments from Graham, who has endorsed Trump in the 2024 race for president, follow reports that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office may be preparing to issue an indictment for alleged hush money payments Trump made as a presidential candidate in 2016.
A court source told Fox News Digital that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office will meet with law enforcement to “discuss logistics for some time next week, which would mean that they are anticipating an indictment next week.”
The potential indictment would likely stem from the years-long investigation surrounding Trump’s alleged hush money scandal involving porn actress Stormy Daniels. Towards the end of the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump’s then-lawyer Michael Cohen sent $130,000 to Daniels to prevent her from disclosing her 2006 affair with Trump. Trump reimbursed Cohen through installments.
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Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., right, speaks at the Vision ’24 conference on March 18, 2023, in North Charleston, S.C., as Palmetto Family board chairman Tony Beam looks on. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)
Like Graham, other Republican lawmakers are also pushing back against the possible Trump indictment, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who said Saturday he is directing House committees to investigate whether federal funds are being used for “politically motivated prosecutions” like that of Trump.
“Here we go again — an outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA who lets violent criminals walk as he pursues political vengeance against President Trump,” McCarthy wrote in a tweet.
Bragg has been criticized for downgrading half of all felony charges in Manhattan last year, including armed robberies of commercial businesses, and for other progressive crime policies.
Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., said Bragg “allows violent criminals to walk the streets, yet abuses the rule of law & powers of his office to target political opponents in partisan witchhunts. He’s unfit for office.”
Reached for comment Friday, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office would neither “confirm or comment” on the impending indictment.
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South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham speaks as former President Donald Trump, left, and Henry McMaster, South Carolina’s governor, listen during a campaign event in Columbia, South Carolina, on Jan. 28, 2023. (Sam Wolfe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Trump lashed out at the reports, saying they indicate he would be arrested next week on his Truth Social app Saturday morning, telling his supporters to “PROTEST, TAKE BACK OUR NATION.”
“NOW ILLEGAL LEAKS FROM A CORRUPT & HIGHLY POLITICAL MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE, WHICH HAS ALLOWED NEW RECORDS TO BE SET IN VIOLENT CRIME & WHOSE LEADER IS FUNDED BY GEORGE SOROS, INDICATE THAT, WITH NO CRIME BEING ABLE TO BE PROVEN, & BASED ON AN OLD & FULLY DEBUNKED (BY NUMEROUS OTHER PROSECUTORS!) FAIRYTALE, THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE & FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK. PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!,” Trump wrote.
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Amid a possible indictment, Trump is planning to travel to Waco, Texas, next weekend for what will be the first major rally of his 2024 presidential campaign.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw, Marta Dhanis, Adam Sabes, and Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report.