A former U.S. district attorney said Thursday that New York Sen. Chuck Schumer may be liable for criminal charges following remarks that some characterized as threats against U.S. Supreme Court justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.
“I got to tell you, and Schumer’s kind of backtracking, that we’ve heard today. I think it’s a day late and a dollar short,” Guy A. Lewis told Harris Faulkner on Fox News Channel’s Thursday edition of “Outnumbered Overtime.”
“Listen, as a young prosecutor down here in Miami, I actually prosecuted, put somebody in jail for about three years, if I recall correctly, under a similar circumstance where they had threatened a federal judge that had a case pending before her. And so, listen, I don’t think this is bad judgment. This may very well be criminal.”
More fall out from Chuck Schumer's threat of violence against two SCOTUS justices — by name. Even the American Bar Association is speaking out against Schumer. Will we ever get an actual apology or just more excuses? pic.twitter.com/iorcAVyAZE
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) March 6, 2020
Lewis was the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida from 2000 to 2002 under President George W. Bush.
Lewis was referring to Schumer’s remarks at an abortion-rights rally in front of the Supreme Court on Wednesday. Schumer called Gorsuch and Kavanaugh out by name with regard to their potential votes in an abortion-related case.
“I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price!” Schumer said. “You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
The words were quickly condemned by President Donald Trump and others, including fellow senators who have called for his censure.
Chief Justice John Roberts on Wednesday took the unusual step of rebuking Schumer for what he called “dangerous” comments.
Schumer tried to temper his comments on the Senate floor a day later, but he stopped short of apologizing as Republicans have demanded.
Instead, he attributed his “strong language” to being a New Yorker and said he would “never, never” have threatened the justices.
“I’m from Brooklyn. We speak in strong language. I shouldn’t have used the words I did. But in no way was I making a threat. I never, never would do such a thing,” he said.
Lewis was dismissive of Schumer’s remarks during his Fox News appearance.
“Here’s the problem,” he said. “First of all, you look at the words. Everybody concluded that it is a threat. There is no question. What people don’t understand is that, as soon as that happens, it’s not necessarily Chuck Schumer. Nobody thinks Chuck Schumer is going to go cause bodily harm to the new Trump justices of the Supreme Court. But it incites people, Harris. People listen to that. People act on that.”
- Chuck Schumer.: Screen grab