The FBI revealed Friday that it will investigate threats to the Colorado Supreme Court justices who ruled this week that former President Trump should be removed from the state’s primary ballot.
The justices claimed in their decision that Trump is ineligible for the ballot under 14th Amendment concerns due to his alleged role in facilitating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Their ruling is expected to rise to the Supreme Court, after the Trump campaign vowed to appeal.
“The FBI is aware of the situation and working with local law enforcement,” Vikki Migoya, spokesperson for the FBI Denver Field Office, said in a statement. “We will vigorously pursue investigations of any threat or use of violence committed by someone who uses extremist views to justify their actions regardless of motivation.”
The justices have reported dozens of threats since the decision came down, according to a report from non-partisan research group Advance Democracy, first acquired by NBC News.
The organization tracked “significant violent rhetoric” against the justices from Trump supporters online, including multiple posts pledging to kill or otherwise attack them.
“The normalization of this type of violent rhetoric — and lack of remedial action by social media entities — is cause for significant concern,” he said. “Trump’s statements, which have sought to delegitimize and politicize the actions of the courts, is serving as a key driver of the violent rhetoric,” Advance Democracy President David Jones told NBC News.
The court’s ruling earlier this week on Trump’s case received widespread scorn from Republicans and praise from Democrats, and threatens to completely change the 2024 election. The former president remains the clear front-runner in the GOP race, and if the Supreme Court upholds the Colorado ruling, he could be barred from seeking office.
Specifically, the justices ruled in favor of a lower court decision that Trump is responsible for inciting the violence of the Jan. 6 riots by inflaming his supporters with false claims of election fraud and directing them to the Capitol. But, contrary to the lower court, they also ruled that the insurrection clause does apply to the office of the president.
The 14th Amendment clause prohibits anyone from taking an oath of office and then engaging in rebellion or insurrection against the U.S. government.
The former president has received similar legal challenges in other states, including two failed cases in Minnesota and Michigan. California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday panned the idea in California, warning his administration that it would only create “political distraction.”
Trump has dismissed the legal challenges as “nonsense” and a form of “election interference.”
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