Trump ally calls whistleblowers ‘suicide bombers’
Former U.S. attorney Joseph E. diGenova turned to European history Tuesday night to describe the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Trump, calling their efforts “regicide,” the act of killing a king.
“What you’re seeing is regicide,” diGenova, a frequent Trump defender, told Fox News host Laura Ingraham. “This is regicide by another name, fake impeachment. The Democrats in the House want to destroy the president.”
But diGenova, a conspiracy theorist Trump wanted on his legal team during the Russia probe, wasn’t finished. In a lengthy interview on “The Ingraham Angle,” the lawyer, who was joined by Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani, blasted the two anonymous whistleblowers as “suicide bombers” and accused Democrats of “sedition.”
The fiery rhetoric marks the latest escalation in language used by Trump’s supporters, and even the president himself, to complain about the ongoing impeachment inquiry, a tactic that has prompted some to express concern about the safety of the whistleblowers and top Democrats.
DiGenova’s comments were also notably made on Fox News, which has recently given similar claims increasing airtime, The Washington Post reported. Additionally, Ingraham has faced advertiser boycotts for making controversial statements on social media and while hosting her show. Fox News did not respond to a request for comment about diGenova’s remarks late Tuesday.
Ingraham invited diGenova and Giuliani onto her Tuesday show to discuss the latest impeachment developments. Earlier in the day, the White House issued an eight-page letter in which it refused to cooperate with the Ukraine inquiry, slamming it as “partisan and unconstitutional.”
Both Giuliani and diGenova were reportedly involved in Trump’s Ukraine dealings, which are at the center of the whistleblower complaint that prompted Democrats to launch their investigation.
Giuliani, who was identified as a key player in Trump’s attempts to get Ukraine to look into his political opponent, former vice president Joe Biden, has since been subpoenaed by three House committees. Late last month, Fox News reported that diGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing, helped Giuliani and that only Trump knew about their involvement. DiGenova said the report was “absolutely false,” though the New York Times has published similar details. Trump hired the couple last year, but the offer was rescinded days later because of undisclosed conflicts, the Times reported at the time.
“However, those conflicts do not prevent them from assisting the president in other legal matters,” Trump attorney Jay Sekulow told the Times in a statement. “The president looks forward to working with them.”
While it remains unclear in what capacity diGenova and Toensing have assisted Trump, the pair often appear on Fox News to defend the president and attack his critics.
On Tuesday, for example, when diGenova discussed the two people who have come forward with information about Trump, he said, “I refuse to call them whistleblowers.”
“These two nonentities are suicide bombers that the Democrats have unleashed on the democratic process,” he said. “They actually think that the American people are going to accept having people testify secretly without anyone knowing who they are, where they worked, what their party affiliation was, who they conspired with.”
He continued: “It’s pretty obvious that this first suicide bomber who sent that complaint to the inspector general was a paid Democratic operative of the Democratic Party.”
Ingraham quickly interjected to clarify diGenova’s remarks.
“You mean political suicide bomber obviously, before we get people messaging us, ‘Oh he really meant …,’” Ingraham said, drawing a boisterous laugh from Giuliani.
The host went on to suggest that anyone who interpreted diGenova’s comment otherwise needed to “get a sense of humor.”
“If you still think that, then you should really watch another show where we have to spell it all out for you,” Ingraham said.
Later in the show, diGenova echoed Trump’s repeated claims that top Democrats are committing treason by investigating him.
“The Democrats who used to just love process and procedure and the rule of law, they are literally subverting the law in what really amounts to a seditious attack on the government,” diGenova said. “It really is sedition what they’re doing.”
Sedition, though related to treason, is conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of a state. Treason is the more serious crime of actively levying war against one’s country or giving aid to its enemies.
Meanwhile, Giuliani shifted the blame to the media.
“Do you know why they get away with this? Why they do this?” he said of Democrats. “It really is the fault of the press. The press enables them. They can say anything they want.”
Late Tuesday night, Trump also added his voice to the mix, firing off tweets again decrying the impeachment probe as a “witch hunt,” a classification Giuliani disputed on Fox News.
“This is now worse than a witch hunt,” Giuliani said, adding that he has read books about the Salem witch trials. “They had more rights.”