The former president has been indicted on 37 counts in relation to his allegedly illegal retention of classified national security information that he’s reported to have taken with him to his Palm Beach, Florida club Mar-a-Lago after leaving the White House in January 2021.
The consensus among legal experts appears to be that Mr Trump is in serious legal jeopardy that may end in a decades-long prison sentence.
That hasn’t stopped many Republicans, including Ms Lake, to come to his defence as they attempt to portray the legal action taken by Special Counsel Jack Smith as politically motivated.
Ms Lake said on Friday that those wishing to go after Mr Trump would have to go through her and all those who supported Mr Trump in the 2020 election – 75 million people.
She then went on to falsely say that “most of us are card-carrying members” of the National Rifle Association (NRA). The organisation reportedly has around 4.3 million members.
She specifically called out Mr Smith, President Joe Biden, and Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“I have a message tonight for Merrick Garland, and Jack Smith, and Joe Biden,” Ms Lake said as she was speaking at the Georgia Republican Party convention. “And the guys back there in the fake news media, you should listen up as well, this one’s for you.”
“If you wanna get to President Trump, you’re gonna have to go through me, and you’re gonna have to go through 75 million Americans just like me,” she claimed.
“And I’m gonna tell you, most of us are card-carrying members of the NRA,” she added to cheers from the crowd. “That’s not a threat, that’s a public service announcement.”
Washington Post reporter Isaac Arnsdorf quoted Ms Lake on Twitter and noted that she received a standing ovation.
Responding to Mr Arnsdorf, Ms Lake wrote: “I meant what I said.”
Ms Lake was replacing former vice president and GOP presidential candidate Mike Pence after he dropped out of his planned speech at the Georgia convention, according to Mediaite.
Ms Lake has been an aggressive supporter of Mr Trump and in January it was reported that she was one of the candidates the ex-president was considering as a possible running mate in 2024.
Reed Galen of the Lincoln Project said Ms Lake’s kind of rhetoric had sparked violence in the past, listing a number of mass shootings.
“This will escalate. We’ve seen the results of these words: El Paso, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Allen, N. Charleston, Christchurch,” he tweeted.
“How does this not warrant at least a visit by Secret Service?” Nicky Frank asked.
“Congrats to all the wise consultants out there who decided that Trumpism would fade away. Take a f***ing bow folks, you negotiated with the terrorists and it worked out great,” one Twitter user added.
“This is shocking. Kari Lake should issue a retraction and apology. This is not even a veiled threat of a violent war in America. It is a call to arms,” Jon Hinck said.