The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is raising concerns about the possible violence that could erupt as a result of the dangerous falsehoods currently being perpetuated about former President Donald Trump and his allies.
According to CNN, Trump and a number of his allies are spreading a conspiracy theory about the possibility of him being reinstated next month. Since there is no constitutional mechanism that would allow for such action to be taken, the claim is nothing more than a misguided falsehood. The DOJ believes it will only lead to an angry, violent response from Trump's loyal base.
During a court hearing, Marine Corps veteran Alex Harkrider, who is facing charges for his alleged participation in the Capitol riots requested that the judge allow for his ankle monitor to be removed. The DOJ expressed concern about doing so amid possible backlash from Trump's base in the wake of the latest claims.
"Former President Trump continues to make false claims about the election, insinuate that he may be reinstalled in the near future as President without another election, and minimize the violent attack on the Capitol," prosecutors wrote in the filing. "Television networks continue to carry and report on those claims, with some actually giving credence to the false reporting."
Prosecutors fired back with arguments linking Trump's rhetoric to Harkrider's case. "The defendant, in this case, is not a good candidate to be out in the community without electronic monitoring to ensure the safety of the community and the safety of democracy in the current environment."
The latest DOJ concerns follow the warning issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as they also expressed concern about Trump's "'reinstatement' fantasies could lead to more violence this summer from right-wing extremists. Like the DOJ, they also warned of a possible uptick in violence.
Legal scholar Lawrence Tribe argued that these warnings emphasize the need to investigate Trump in particular for his role in the insurrection: