This post has been updated with Christie's comments Wednesday.
On Monday night, it earned an occasional mention at the Republican National Convention. "Hillary in prison," one speaker said in response to an exclamation from the crowd, adding that she should be "put in stripes." Another offered that Clinton should exchange her "pantsuits" for an "orange jumpsuit."
By Tuesday, it became a bona fide rallying cry. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie -- a former prosecutor, it bears noting -- offered his own rhetorical indictment of Clinton, punctuating each line by asking the crowd whether Clinton was "guilty or not guilty."
The crowd was one step ahead though, chanting repeatedly, "Lock her up!"
This has not been the Republican Party's official position on Clinton's email scandal. But this week's convention essentially put it on the party's platform for November. And for that, the party has Donald Trump to thank.
"I will say this: Hillary Clinton has got to go to jail," Trump said in San Jose, Calif., adding: "Folks, honestly, she's guilty as hell."
Trump was largely breaking new ground for Republicans here. While they had certainly raised concerns about Clinton's judgment and whether she might even have broken the law with her use of a private email server, few ventured into judge-and-jury territory like Trump did.
Even Monday night, after Clinton's imprisonment became something of a theme on the first night of the convention, it was evident that some in the GOP were wary of this kind of drumbeat.
"I wouldn't say that she belongs in jail," Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said on CNN. "I don't know that. I didn't sit through those hearings."
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) offered similar thoughts after Tuesday's session of the GOP convention, as did some other Trump critics.
.@HillaryClinton now belongs in prison? C'mon. We can make the case that she shouldn't be elected without jumping the shark.
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) July 20, 2016
Unless Trump is going to make America work again by making Republicans prison guards for Democrats, I don't know what the big jobs plan is.
— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) July 20, 2016
Update: Christie himself doesn't even seem comfortable with the chants he was greeted with Tuesday. In an appearance Wednesday morning on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," he said, "I think the problem is that, you know, people get -- in my party often get so angry about her that they yell and they scream and they use kind of, you know, divisive language that doesn't get to the core of my problem with her." Asked if he was referring to "lock her up," Christie said, "Right. right."
But the GOP's decision to give speaking slots to headliners such as Pat Smith, the mother of one of four Americans slain in Benghazi, Libya, (who said Clinton should be put "in stripes") as well as some speakers from outside the party's establishment, such as Colorado GOP Senate candidate Darryl Glenn (he of the "orange jumpsuit" comment), has created a rallying cry Republicans now must embrace.
And Christie's presentation Tuesday night sealed the deal. It was the most raucous moment of the night -- Trump's spurned potential VP running through a litany of Clinton's failures. Many of them weren't of the legal variety, but the crowd still deemed them deserving of incarceration.
Just to recap, here we are at the convention of one of two major political parties in the United States of America, with the devotees of one party calling for the jailing of what amounts to the opposition leader.
Trump, of course, didn't invent this idea. Previously, however, it was mostly something contained within the fringes of the Republican Party.
In March, conservative former baseball star Curt Schilling suggested Clinton "should be buried under a jail."
But other than that, the concept of Clinton in jail was relegated to questions about whether she might be indicted -- indicted, mind you, not convicted or even sentenced to serve time.
This week, though, the Republican Party has conducted a rather quick trial and reached a verdict. The sentencing was done by acclamation. It's Donald Trump's Republican Party now.