Online threats of ‘January 6 times 10’ surge as law enforcement prepares for potential Trump indictment

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Violent threats and rhetoric have exploded online ahead of Donald Trump’s potential indictment in a New York hush money investigation, according to intelligence officials.

According to intelligence reports from the US Capitol Police in Washington, the federal DC Fusion Center and the Federal Highway Administration obtained by Rolling Stone, officials have been monitoring worrying online chatter, including one anonymous user who said the former president’s arrest would result in “Jan 6*10 + Guns.”

“The DC Fusion Center assesses that potential criminal justice actions taken toward a former US president — or actions perceived to be taken toward the former president — remain a ‘line in the sand’ for [Domestic Violent Extremist] communities and thus have the potential to manifest in violence toward government targets or political officials,” according to the Fusion Center’s analysis.

The trigger for all this activity was Donald Trump’s claim over the weekend that his arrest was imminent on Tuesday, 21 March, and his call to supporters to protest to “take our nation back.”

“The March 18 announcement was met with an immediate increase in violent online rhetoric and expressed threats toward government and law enforcement targets perceived as participating in a political persecution of the former president, as well as calls for ‘Civil War’ more generally,” according to the Fusion Center Report.

Intelligence sources backed up this observation, telling CBS they had seen a “significant increase” in threats and violent rhetoric online from domestic violent extremists, though none were credible so far.

On Tuesday, a bomb threat briefly shut down operations in a neighbouring Manhattan courthouse close to where the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office investigation of Mr Trump’s 2016 hush money payments to women claiming affairs has been underway.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg reportedly told his staff in an email over the weekend “we do not tolerate attempts to intimidate our office or threaten the rule of law in New York,” and assured them they were safe.

Officials including the New York Police Department, FBI, and Secret Service, who protect the president, reportedly met on Monday to discuss ongoing security measures surrounding the potential charges. Mr Bragg has reportedly also considered expanding his security detail.

Thus far, despite the amped up rhetoric online, crowds turning out to support Mr Trump in New York and Florida in advance of the charges have reportedly been relatively thin, often outnumbered by members of the media.

The grand jury hearing evidence in the investigation into Mr Trump will reportedly continue its work through Wednesday, making charges unlikely until the middle or end of this week.

Mr Trump, for his part, has continued to insist the probe into his payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal, are part of the “most disgusting witchhunt in the history of our country.”