The Justice Department, under the leadership of President Joe Biden, has been actively engaged in a situation concerning former President Donald Trump. Over the recent holiday period, news emerged that the FBI has begun investigations into alleged violent threats against Justices of the Colorado Supreme Court.
These are the very Justices who ruled against the inclusion of Trump’s name on the Colorado ballot for the 2024 presidential race, as they were influenced by unproven accusations of his involvement in an ‘insurrection’ at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.
Trump, who has yet to be formally accused or found guilty of these allegations, has had constitutional experts rally, arguing that the 14th Amendment’s ‘insurrection’ clause had been made virtually ineffectual following the Civil War approximately a hundred years ago.
In an official statement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation explained that its agents are collaborating with local police to explore the alleged threats against the four Colorado Justices who voted to restrict Trump from the ballot.
The commitment of the FBI has been reinforced by Public Affairs Officer Vikki Migoya, who told CNN, ‘We are aware of the situation and are working with local law enforcement. Regardless of motivation, any threat or violence exerted by someone using extreme views as justification for their action will be thoroughly investigated.’
Beyond the involvement of federal agents, state and local law enforcement entities, as well as non-government-based research organizations have been vigilant in tracking discussions on various online platforms often visited by extremists. These discussions are observed closely for indications that they might escalate into actual threats against public figures. They found that the names of the four Colorado Supreme Court Justices who ruled against Trump’s eligibility have been recurrent in ‘incendiary’ posts on these platforms, coupled with calls demanding the exposure of the justices’ personal data.
This information was made available through an analysis report of the internet conversations, as curated by a non-partisan research group for the benefit of US law enforcement agencies, a copy of which was accessed by CNN. Though no direct threats were identified in this report, it suggested that conditions still exist for potential violence or illegal activities from solitary actors or small groups in reaction to the ruling.
Interestingly, a user on a far-right, pro-Trump platform posted a somewhat disguised reference to the Colorado judges, stating, ‘All f— robed rats must f— hang.’ This represents some of the extreme views held by individuals on these forums, which have attracted the attention of federal and local law enforcement for the potential harm they could cause.
On the other side of the spectrum, a former federal prosecutor predicts a favorable outcome for Trump. He projected last week that the U.S. Supreme Court will easily overrule the decision made by the Colorado Supreme Court to strike off Donald Trump’s name from the state’s 2024 presidential ballot.
Ty Cobb, who formerly served as assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland, defended Trump during the unproven investigation into alleged Trump-Russia collusion by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Cobb told CNN that regardless of his belief that Trump’s actions in challenging the 2020 election have posed a ‘disaster’ for the GOP, he holds faith in the nation’s highest court to unanimously reverse the ruling in Colorado.
‘I am confident this case will be promptly addressed,’ Cobb conveyed. ‘I foresee a unanimous, 9-0 decision in the Supreme Court favoring Trump. The Supreme Court needs to consider this case. They can postpone Colorado’s dates while they work speedily.’
Cobb also shared his surprise about the majority opinion and the unnecessary objections it projected. ‘What truly matters in this case is whether Trump is an officer of the United States in the context that the term is used in Article 3 of the 14th Amendment. Chief Justice Roberts clarified in the Free Enterprise case in 2010 that American people don’t vote for ‘officers of the United States.’
Cobb further explained that, ‘The designation ‘officers of the United States’ in Article 2 is typically understood within the constitution to refer to appointed officials. If the president or vice president is ever included as an ‘officer’ or highlighted within the warnings of the constitution, it is usually for something specific like in the impeachment clause, which expressly cites the president and the vice president.’