During a panel discussion on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Thursday, political commentator John Heilemann suggested the country prepare for Donald Trump to attempt to incite his rabid followers should the Department of Justice indict him on criminal charges.
Following a discussion about the Washington Post bombshell report that the DOJ is conducting a massive investigation of the former president and some of his allies over the Jan. 6 insurrection, the panel took up what would follow when should Trump be criminally charged.
Asked about fears that the country would become a hotbed of turmoil should an indictment be handed down, former RNC head Michael Steele stated, “There would be a lot of noise and bluster around them and there will be those who will likely protest and raise their fist. But at the end of the day, just how far are folks willing to go, now that you would have a Justice Department that has made it very clear where the line is.”
“I’m not saying that there won’t be some type of street response and we don’t know what that would look like, but we cannot be held hostage to that possibility,” he explained.
Heilemann chimed in and said that “[Attorney General] Merrick Garland should not be thinking about the political consequences, thinking about whether Donald Trump is indictable or not.”
“But the reality is… that if Merrick Garland does decide to indict Donald Trump that, there is going to be a tremendous outcry, among many quarters of this population that think the election was stolen, who are in the grips of Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories and delusions,” he continued. “And we have seen an escalation and embrace of political violence in this country over the last couple of years that is not entirely unprecedented, but new for the last 30, 40 years in America, what do you anticipate? Donald Trump will drive this, will seize on this, will try to inflame his people. Do you not think we should all be ready, be braced for a very ugly period, not just leading into the midterms but officially the next couple of years, leading into 2024 if the DOJ goes forward.”
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