Law enforcement is preparing for protests outside the courthouse where Donald Trump is being arraigned on 37 federal charges on Tuesday. That’s more than just a routine response to a high-profile case—after all, Trump incited an attack on Congress in response to losing an election, and he’s again calling for protest. Authorities are monitoring posts on pro-Trump social media sites like his Truth Social, The Donald, and more, looking for credible threats.
Trump is being slightly more circumspect than when he called on his supporters to be in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021 by saying, “Be there. Will be wild.” But he has repeatedly urged his supporters to rally around him–including physically and in person–in response to the federal charges centered on the dozens of classified documents he took when he left the White House and refused to return to the government.
In a Saturday Truth Social post, Trump ranted, “AMERICA WENT TO SLEEP LAST NIGHT WITH TEARS IN ITS EYES. SOMEDAY SOON, HOWEVER, IT WILL BE ABLE TO WIPE AWAY THOSE TEARS AND SMILE, BIGGER THAN EVER BEFORE, FOR WE WILL HAVE DEFEATED THE RADICAL LEFT MARXISTS, FASCISTS, COMMUNISTS, LUNATICS, & DERANGED MANIACS, & CLEARED THE PATH TO PUT AMERICA FIRST & THEN, QUICKLY, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!” His supporters responded in true cult-like fashion.
In a radio interview with Roger Stone, Trump called on his supporters to protest Tuesday. “We need strength in our country now,” he said. “And they have to go out and they have to protest peacefully. They have to go out.”
“Look, our country has to protest. We have plenty of protest to protest. We’ve lost everything,” he added.
Trump threw in a “peacefully” there, but others have been less circumspect on his behalf.
Kari Lake, the former Republican gubernatorial nominee in Arizona, told Georgia Republicans on Saturday that, to get to Trump, prosecutors are “going to have to go through me, and 75 million Americans just like me. And most of us are card-carrying members of the NRA.”
Police advisories warn of rallies called by far-right internet personality Laura Loomer and a local chapter of the Proud Boys, a hate group that saw some of its leaders convicted of seditious conspiracy for their roles in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
On The Donald, the violent rhetoric was flowing. Rolling Stone reports:
A user named “Belac186” offered a far deadlier fix: “The only way this country ever becomes anything like the Constitution says this country should be is if thousands of traitorous rats are publicly executed.” Commenter “DogFaceKilla” quickly chimed in to offer supplies: “I got some rope somewhere in the garage…” And “Heavy_Metal_Patriot” added: “Hans says we can borrow the flammenwerfer” — a reference to a battlefield flame thrower used to by German soldiers in World War II.
When Trump was arraigned on New York charges, the feared violence did not materialize. But the charges now are far more severe, and the arraignment is happening in Florida—friendlier ground for his supporters than Manhattan. That said, the convictions of Jan. 6 planners and rioters may have had a deterrent effect on people who might otherwise have shown up ready to show their devotion, and more generally the Trump base is demoralized and trying to self-soothe using conspiracy theories, rather than fully united and mobilized.
Trump is expected to surrender on Tuesday for what he has said is a 3 PM ET arraignment. Arraignments are often handled by a magistrate judge, but since Trump has drawn Judge Aileen Cannon, who brazenly ignored the law to give him favorable treatment after the classified documents were seized in the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago, she may want to make a special point of coming face to face with her hero. As was the case in his New York arraignment, it’s expected that Trump will get some special treatment but will still come out fuming over being treated like a mere mortal.
Trump will need to travel from Bedminster, New Jersey, where he spends summers, and is expected to return there Tuesday night to deliver remarks, just as he did following the New York arraignment. Just as he did that time, he’s expected to rail against the prosecutor in charge of his case and the prosecutor’s family. In this case, that’s special counsel Jack Smith. Trump has already called Smith “deranged” and his team of federal prosecutors “thugs” and attacked Smith’s wife.
Immediately after that Tuesday night rant, Trump is planning a fundraiser, to continue cashing in on being indicted under the Espionage Act.
We talk about the field of Republicans willing to go up against the MAGA monster that is Trump. It’s a veritable who cares of the Republican Party, but it is also indicative of the rot inside of the conservative world.