Faced with Donald Trump possibly being convicted in any of his four criminal trials and the fact that, as the likely 2024 GOP nominee he could lose again, law enforcement officials are becoming increasingly worried about political violence.
According to a report from the New York Times, there is concern about possible riots such as one that occurred on Jan. 6, 2021 as well as random domestic violence attacks conducted by so-called “lone wolves” bent on the same “retribution” the former president has promised to deliver.
Noting that 24-hour protection has been assigned to investigators and judges taking part in the former president’s four criminal indictments, the report points out that law enforcement officials worry those threats could grow and expand into random acts of violence, to say nothing of what will happen if the Trump loses in 2024.
According to Robert Pape, who studies political violence at the University of Chicago, Trump’s indictments are “the most important current drivers of political violence we now have.”
“In the past 13 months, F.B.I. agents confronting individuals suspected of making threats have shot and fatally wounded two people, including one in Utah who was armed and had threatened, before President Biden’s planned visit to the area, to kill him.” the report states before adding, “many scholars and experts who study political violence place the blame for the current atmosphere most squarely on Mr. Trump — abetted by the unwillingness of many Republican politicians to object to or tamp down the violent and apocalyptic language on social media and in the conservative media.”
The FBI has acknowledged an increase in threats against its own personnel since they appeared at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort to reclaim stolen government documents, and has created a special unit to deal with the uptick in threats.
According to the Times, “A U.S. official said threats since then have risen more than 300 percent, in part because the identities of employees, and information about them, are being spread online.”
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