Donald Trump’s TV propaganda channels demanded political reprisals on Thursday night as the former president was booked in Georgia on felony criminal charges connected with his plot to subvert the 2020 election.
Hosts and guests on Fox News and Newsmax called for Republicans to respond with retaliatory prosecutions of President Joe Biden and other Democrats, legislative action, and even civil war.
Trump surrendered at Fulton County Jail and was booked on 13 state counts including racketeering, “soliciting a public officer to violate their oath, conspiring to impersonate a public officer, conspiring to commit forgery in the first degree and conspiring to file false documents.” He was released on a $200,000 bond after being fingerprinted and photographed.
Trump currently faces a total of 91 criminal counts across four federal and state trials: In addition to the Georgia case, he was indicted earlier this year in federal court on charges related to his election subversion plot and his retention of government documents, as well as in New York state court on charges related to a hush money payoff to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 campaign.
Trump’s media allies have furiously defended him after each indictment. They have offered a flurry of demagoguery and misinformation about the charges and prosecutors in order to baselessly declare him the victim of politicized prosecutions and denounce Biden as an authoritarian who is turning the United States into a “banana republic.” Their furious rhetoric not only flies in the face of the facts about those cases, but also defies both their past demands for the prosecutions of Democrats before and during Trump’s presidency and their explicit calls for future political prosecutions.
Those calls were revived on Thursday night as Trump was booked following his latest indictment and his media supporters tried to whip their viewers into a frenzy once more.
Right-wing political operative Ned Ryun said on Fox’s Jesse Watters Primetime that Republican state attorneys general need to respond to Trump’s indictments with “lawfare, launching nukes right back at the left” to establish “mutually assured destruction.”
“You're saying Republicans should promise mug shots of Democrats,” host Jesse Watters replied.
“One-hundred percent,” Ryun said. “They've already posted four indictments on Trump and our state AGs are sitting there looking at each other like they don't know what time it is.”
“We are right now in a fight for the actual future and existence of a constitutional republic,” he added. “And at some point, you have to fight fire with fire — and if we don't do that, they are going to continue down this path."
Charles Hurt, opinion editor of The Washington Times and a Fox contributor, told host Laura Ingraham that those prosecutions should specifically target Biden.
“I think prosecutors around the country should begin preparing indictments of Joe Biden for every person in their district who dies of fentanyl poison, every person that is murdered by an illegal alien that Joe Biden intentionally allowed in the country so that they could go and murder somebody, there should be indictments for the president,” he explained. “And let's start there. And then if we want to renegotiate this and settle down a little bit, maybe we can do that.”
Later on the program, right-wing political operative Mike Davis said that the Trump indictments will “backfire” and “Democrats are going to regret what they've done here, because President Trump is going to be back in the White House after November 5, 2024.”
Davis did not specify what he meant, but in an interview earlier that day, he promised that if he were made Trump’s acting attorney general, he would enact a “reign of terror” that included indicting the prosecutors who indicted Trump.
Others called for Republicans to take legislative action in response to Trump’s indictments.
“Republicans should grind everything on Capitol Hill to a halt,” Ingraham said. “I mean, everything. If this is allowed on the federal level, on a state level, I'd grind it all to a halt.”
The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway replied, “There's so much that they can do on the Hill and that they have begun to do, including investigating [Fulton County District Attorney] Fani Willis, who's clearly coordinating with other Democrat people.”
And other Trumpists suggested that the ex-president’s supporters might need to take extralegal action in response.
“At some point, we're going to reach a critical mass where people either are going to say, if we don't stop it, we don't have a country. And I think we're getting very close to that right now,” Fox contributor Victor David Hanson told Ingraham.
Hanson did not explain what he thought Americans who think “if we don't stop it, we don't have a country” should do. But 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin turned the subtext to text during a Newsmax appearance.
“I think those who are conducting this travesty and creating this two-tiered system of justice and I want to ask them, ‘What the heck? Do you want us to be in Civil War?’ because that's what's going to happen,” she told Eric Bolling. “We're not going to keep putting up with this. And Eric, I like that you suggested that we need to get angry. We do need to rise up and take our country back.”