Intelligence sources said there’s been a “significant increase” in online threats and violent rhetoric from domestic extremists since former President Donald Trump claimed he will be indicted in the Stormy Daniels hush money case, according to CBS News.
So far, sources say there are no identified credible or direct threats to a person or property but officials are continuing to monitor online chatter for credible specific threats of violence.
The warning comes just days after Trump announced on Truth Social that he expects to be arrested on Tuesday and called on his supporters to protest. The Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office has not confirmed an indictment. But reports suggest the expected arrest may come on Wednesday when the grand jury investigating the $130,000 hush money payment Trump made to Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign returns.
The online threats are mostly directed at law enforcement, judges and government officials. Violent domestic extremists’ conspiracy theories reportedly focus on those entities as participants in some grand scheme to politically persecute Trump, according to sources who talked to CBS News.
Some of the online postings argue that it would cross a line for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office to arrest Trump and extremists have reportedly warned that violence — bigger than the Jan. 6 attack — would follow, sources told CBS. Domestic extremists have also posted calling for civil war.
Though the online chatter hasn’t yet materialized as real life violence or protests, law enforcement sources warn the situation could change quickly. On Tuesday a bomb threat was called into the New York County Supreme Court just as a judge was starting a hearing in a separate case related to the $250 million lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James against Trump.
Ahead of the expected Trump indictment, the New York Police Department and other federal, state and local agencies are prepping security plans in and around the criminal court building in Lower Manhattan where Trump is likely to appear if he is charged. The U.S. Secret Service is also coordinating security plans with the NYPD, according to reports.
But despite a call to action from Trump and the intense preparations for the worst case scenario, the turnout from MAGA protestors in the wake of Trump’s call to march has so far been low.
Some Trump supporters say they are disappointed by the small turnout but blame it on fear of arrest, according to Politico.
Other Trumpers say the low energy makes sense in Manhattan where Trump is deeply unpopular.
“We threw it together at the last minute, the last 24 hours,” Gavin Wax — the president of the New York Young Republican Club who organized the demonstration outside of the Manhattan Criminal Court — told Politico.
“We weren’t sure we even wanted to come out because some people don’t like us, but we are here to show that there is support for President Trump in the bluest area in the country, here in Manhattan,” he added.