Law enforcement agencies nationwide are readying for the possibility of civil unrest should Donald Trump be indicted, according to new reporting from Rolling Stone, which obtained government intelligence bulletins documenting the threats.
A surge in online threats followed the former president’s Saturday social media post announcing that he expected to be arrested Tuesday in connection with a Manhattan investigation into alleged hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
The Manhattan case is among four criminal investigations the former president is under. A Fulton County, Georgia grand jury is investigating Trump for election interference, and the Department of Justice is conducting separate probes over the handling of classified documents and Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
The all-caps post on Trump’s Truth Social website included a call to protest that in the view of many echoed his calls to march on the Capitol in the days leading up to the Jan. 6 insurrection.
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The D.C. Fusion Center, an intelligence-sharing network that’s part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Capitol Police on Sunday shared assessments of the threats with law enforcement agencies nationwide, the report said.
The bulletins include calls for a response to a potential Trump arrest more lethal than the Jan. 6 attacks. Several threats were made by those indicating a willingness to die for the cause.
“The DC Fusion Center assesses that potential criminal justice actions taken toward a former US president — or actions perceived to be taken toward the former president — remain a ‘line in the sand’ for [Domestic Violent Extremist] communities and thus have the potential to manifest in violence toward government targets or political officials,” the report said.
The report said Trump’s social media post on Saturday “was met with an immediate increase in violent online rhetoric and expressed threats toward government and law enforcement targets perceived as participating in a political persecution of the former president, as well as calls for ‘Civil War’ more generally.”
Of particular concern to law enforcement are posts from those who view violence as the only possible reaction to the former president’s potential arrest.
According to the DC Fusion Center report: “In one observed post, an anonymous user indicated that the arrest would result in ‘Jan 6*10 + Guns,’ while another observed post stated, ‘It’s now or never. We need to see the true version of January 6.’”
The Federal Highway Administration on Monday also issued a warning of threats to disrupt the national highway system.
According to the security bulletin, “Tactics mentioned included using dump trucks to drop ‘a few tons of gravel on six bridges’ in hopes of making them unusable thereby causing a ‘serious hit to food and economic deliveries’ in and out of New York.”