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27 Dec, 2023 15:49

FBI probing death threats against Trump ruling judges

Personal details of Colorado justices who deemed the ex-president unfit for office were posted online in the days after the verdict
FBI probing death threats against Trump ruling  judges

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is working with law enforcement officials in Colorado to investigate alleged threats made against state Supreme Court Justices who voted to remove Donald Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot.

Denver police said on Tuesday that it was increasing patrols around the homes of state justices in the aftermath of Colorado’s top court ruling in a 4-3 vote that the former US president should be disqualified from running for the Oval Office in 2024.

The decision, which came on December 19, cited a clause in the US Constitution that prevents anyone who has engaged in an insurrection from seeking office. It is alleged that Trump violated this clause with his actions ahead of – and during – the January 6, 2021 riots at the US Capitol.

“The Denver Police Department is currently investigating incidents directed at Colorado Supreme Court justices and will continue working with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to investigate any reports of threats or harassment,” a police statement said on Tuesday.

The FBI added separately that it is “aware of the situation” and is “working with local law enforcement.” Neither the police nor the FBI commented on the specific nature of investigations currently underway.

Following the court’s ruling, personal details of the judges – including addresses and telephone numbers – were posted online, the BBC reported, including on X (formerly Twitter), Telegram and the Trump-owned Truth Social.

One such message called for violence against the judges, according to the BBC. “If you live in Colorado, do what the founding fathers ACTUALLY would want. Grab your rifles and some rope.” The Denver police department also said that it was called to the home of one of the state justices on Thursday last week “on what appears to be a hoax report.”

Another message, apparently posted in reference to the Colorado ruling, called for all “robed rats” to “hang.”

Trump has until January 4 to appeal Colorado’s ruling. The state’s judgement is expected to have a difficult time passing through the conservative-slanted US Supreme Court, legal analysts have predicted.

Several of Trump’s rivals for the Republican nomination for president have stated their belief the Colorado Supreme Court’s judgement was politically motivated. Some Democrats have said that the ruling may backfire, as it will give Trump ammunition to further claim that he is being unfairly targeted by the US justice system and the Biden administration.