Right-wing media outlets and pundits responded to special counsel Jack Smith’s indictment of former President Donald Trump for attempting to overturn the 2020 election by demanding revenge and retribution.
On August 1, Smith charged Trump with four criminal counts relating to the former president’s alleged sprawling conspiracy to remain in office despite losing the election. Right-wing media framed the investigation as politically motivated and argued that Trump would be justified in weaponizing federal law enforcement against his political opponents if he is reelected in 2024.
The indictment is Trump’s third in recent months. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg charged Trump with 34 felony counts related to alleged hush money he paid to porn actress Stormy Daniels. Smith’s office also charged Trump with 37 felony counts stemming from his alleged retention of classified material at his Mar-a-Lago club and resort.
Like his defenders, Trump has promised to exact vengeance for his indictments. On August 3, he accused Democrats of engaging in an “unprecedented weaponization of ‘Justice,’” but added, “SOON, IN 2024, IT WILL BE OUR TURN.”
Even before he was indicted, Trump had homed in on revenge as a central campaign promise. “I am your warrior. I am your justice,” he said at the Conservative Political Action Conference in early March. “And for those who have been wronged and betrayed: I am your retribution.”
- Fox News host Laura Ingraham threatened future retaliatory prosecution of Jack Smith, Merrick Garland, and Joe Biden by a Republican-controlled Department of Justice.
- Fox News' Jesse Watters promised that Trump will “unleash hell on all of his political enemies.”
- A day later, Watters promised a Trump “revenge tour” where he's “out for blood.”
Other right-wing media
- Newsmax's Rob Finnerty said Trump will be on a “four-year revenge tour” if he's elected.
- Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk sought to justify potential retaliatory actions the next Republican administration might take, posting: “When Republicans finally do regain power—and they will—the legal retribution repaid against corrupt Democrats will be inevitable.”
- Hours earlier, Kirk wrote: “The great confrontation has begun.”
- Daniel Horowitz, senior editor of The Blaze, published a blog on August 2 arguing that “red states should retaliate” against the various prosecutions of Trump, adding, “States should mimic Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg and prosecute Democrats for state crimes.”
- Right-wing radio show host Jesse Kelly posted: “Yes, I want Democrats indicted and arrested for crimes real and imagined. I want this to happen because there’s zero chance you’ll ever stop unless you fear it happening to you.”
- BlazeTV’s Steve Deace responded to Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who had claimed President Joe Biden is “trying to persecute his leading political opponent,” by asking him: “Do you think if we go and vote Republican in the next election and you guys win the majority, you might be able to do something about this?”
- Far-right commentator Stew Peters wrote on his Telegram channel that “the ONLY way to reverse course is by implementing EXTREME accountability and SEVERE justice for those complicit in selling out this country.”
- Actress and political commentator Lana Asanin celebrated that “when Trump returns to office, the Left won’t be able to cry victim when Trump goes scorched-earth retribution mode.”
- Conservative judicial activist Mike Davis asked if “the Biden Justice Department political appointees *really* want to indict their predecessors for counseling the President? Because I *promise* the next Trump DOJ will follow suit.”
- The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles stressed that Trump’s indictment shows that Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas need to be impeached “before they imprison us.”