"President Trump said he has 'been summoned to appear at the Federal Courthouse in Miami on Tuesday, at 3 PM,'" Higgins tweeted. "This is a perimeter probe from the oppressors. Hold. rPOTUS has this. Buckle up. 1/50K know your bridges. Rock steady calm. That is all."
Sharlet, whose latest book, The Undertow: Scenes from a Slow Civil War, features in-depth reporting on right-wing extremists, warned that the GOP lawmaker appeared to be calling for an insurgency.
"Deep scary: 1/50 k refers to military scale maps & publicly available US Geological Survey maps of areas mostly surrounding military installations," Sharlet said. "This isn’t a metaphor. This isn’t slow civil war. This is a congressman calling for the real thing."
"I think this is scary as hell," he added.
Higgins, a former police officer who claims to hold an "active commission" in law enforcement, was caught on video last month manhandling an activist who asked him about his ties to right-wing extremists, and he resigned from one police department in 2007 before he could face discipline for using unnecessary force by slapping a Black man while on duty.
He later gained notoriety by posting viral videos online showing himself wearing a police uniform and threatening purported criminals with violence and calling them "animals" and "heathens."
Higgins has previously spoken at events held by mostly white militias, including the Oath Keepers, and sold T-shirts at political events featuring the logo of the anti-government III Percent militia, while threatening to shoot members of a Black militia that took part in Black Lives Matter marches in 2020.
"If you’re laughing at Rep Clay Higgins using militia speak, referencing military grade maps, & telling Trumpers to 'know your bridges,' recall that Canadian far rightists held border bridges recently in a tense stand off," Sharlet warned. "This is on the table."
Sharlet went through and defined the phrases the congressman deployed and determined he was calling for a "county-level insurrection" in response to Trump's federal indictment, which Higgins characterized as an act of war.
"Take this seriously," Sharlet said. “'Perimeter probe': Higgins thinks indictment precedes bigger attack. 'rPOTUS': real POTUS,' Trump. 'Hold': 'stand back & stand by.' 'Buckle up': prepare for war. '1/50 k': military scale maps. 'Know your bridges': militia speak for prepare to seize bridges."