During a hearing on Tuesday about the violent protests taking place in many big cities across the nation, Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) defended the federal government’s intervention in the Portland riots that targeted a federal courthouse by pointing out that “If we hadn’t intervened they’d burn the godda**ed thing down.”
Speaking to Acting Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Kenneth Cuccinelli and the United States Attorney for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox, Graham said, “I’m going to be watching really hard whether or not the people who attack our officers prosecuted. And I will join my Democratic colleagues to make sure that the IG looks really hard at any excessive use of force.”
“I think most Americans are probably where I’m at: if a cop is going overboard we want to know about it and take corrective action, but I think most Americans want to make sure that somebody throws a brick or a frozen bottle of water or anything else at a police officer, that they have their day in court too.” Graham continued. “So I want to put you both on notice that we’re going to hold you accountable for prosecuting those who hurt our cops.”
Graham then asked, “If we’d done nothing, what would have happened to the courthouse, Mr. Cuccinelli, in Portland?”
“That courthouse wouldn’t be there in any function—” Cuccinelli replied.
“I challenge anybody on the other side to say different.” Graham said. “If we hadn’t intervened, they’d have burned the God damn thing down.”