Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Trump supporters call for riots and violent retribution after verdict

Some called for attacks on jurors, the execution of Justice Juan Merchan

Reuters: Supporters of former President Donald Trump, enraged by his conviction on 34 felony counts by a New York jury, flooded pro-Trump websites with calls for riots, revolution and violent retribution.

After Trump became the first U.S. president to be convicted of a crime, his supporters responded with dozens of violent online posts, according to a Reuters review of comments on three Trump-aligned websites: the former president's own Truth Social platform, Patriots.Win and the Gateway Pundit.

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Some called for attacks on jurors, the execution of the judge, Justice Juan Merchan, or outright civil war and armed insurrection.

“Someone in NY with nothing to lose needs to take care of Merchan,” wrote one commentator on Patriots.Win. “Hopefully he gets met with illegals with a machete,” the post said in reference to illegal immigrants.

On Gateway Pundit, one poster suggested shooting liberals after the verdict. “Time to start capping some leftys,” said the post. “This cannot be fixed by voting."

Threats of violence and intimidating rhetoric soared after Trump lost the 2020 election and falsely claimed the vote was stolen. As he campaigns for a second White House term, Trump has baselessly cast the judges and prosecutors in his trials as corrupt tools of the Biden administration, intent on sabotaging his White House bid. His loyalists have responded with a campaign of threats and intimidation targeting judges and court officials.

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Today we're looking at the restaurant chain sector. “This was a disgrace, this was a rigged trial by a conflicted judge who was corrupt,” Trump told reporters afterwards, echoing comments he often made during the trial.

A 12-member jury found Trump guilty on Thursday of falsifying documents to cover up a payment to silence a porn star’s account of a sexual encounter ahead of the 2016 election. Sentencing is set for July 11, days before the Republican Party is scheduled to formally nominate Trump for president ahead of the Nov. 5 election. Trump has denied wrongdoing and is expected to appeal.

Jacob Ware, a co-author of the book “God, Guns, and Sedition: Far-Right Terrorism in America”, said the violent language used by Trump’s followers was testament to the former president’s “ironclad ability to mobilize more extreme supporters to action, both at the ballot box and through violence.”

“Until and unless he accepts the process, the extremist reaction to his legal troubles will be militant,” said Ware, a research fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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A spokesperson for Truth Social said, “It’s hard to believe that Reuters, once a respected news service, has fallen so low as to publish such a manipulative, false, defamatory and transparently stupid article as this one purely out of political spite.”

All three sites have policies against violent language, and some of the posts were later removed. Representatives of Patriots.Win and Gateway Pundit did not immediately return requests for comment. A Trump spokesperson also did not respond to an email seeking comment.

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