Editors at the Washington Examiner expose a dangerous scheme to shut down political debate.

When special counsel Jack Smith first indicted former President Donald Trump and six other defendants for conspiring to defraud the United States, we were concerned. We’re no fans of Trump, but we warned that using conspiracy law in the political arena would lead to the criminalization of political dissent.

A little over a month later, we are unhappy to report that this warning was prescient.

It was revealed last week that not only did a Georgia grand jury recommend racketeering charges against Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and former Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA) for their First Amendment activities related to Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election result in Georgia, but it also approved racketeering indictments for 61 protesters who oppose the construction of a police training facility in the Atlanta suburbs.

This is, then, a bipartisan effort to criminalize politics, with targeted people also on both sides of the political and ideological divide. It is not too late for both sides to stop now and reconsider their dangerous prosecutions.

The grand jury report did not specify why it recommended Graham, Loeffler, and Perdue for prosecution, but it does accuse Perdue of “persistent, repeated communications directed to multiple Georgia officials and employees.” In other words, he spoke to people. This is the first and most important activity protected in the Bill of Rights.

Responding to the grand jury, Graham said in a statement: “It should never be a crime for a federal elected official, particularly the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who will have to vote to certify a presidential election, to question and ensure the integrity of that election.”

Graham is right. The prosecution of a senator for trying to do his job shouldn’t even be a risk left up to the political whims of an Atlanta prosecutor.