Saturday morning, on Truth Social, former President Donald Trump announced he expects to be arrested Tuesday in Manhattan. And he called on his supporters to take to the street and protest.
However, some Trump supporters and conservatives aren’t taking his call to take to the streets as enthusiastically as the former president might hope, fearful the government might falsely round them up and imprison them.
“Just what they want. They are gonna goad us into another January 6 narrative but on a bigger scale. Once we assemble to protest, the feds will already be in place to stoke the flames. Having fun yet? We need to play chess here. Not react to this injustice emotionally,” wrote the Blaze’s Steve Deace.
Trump’s announcement of a potential arrest comes in the wake of reports that a New York grand investigation of a hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election was coming to a close.
The jury reportedly heard testimony from both Daniels and former Trump attorney Michael Cohen earlier in the week. Trump is being investigated for potentially ordering Cohen to make the payment. According to NBC New York, officials have been discussing potential security measures if the president is charged and needs to be arraigned in New York City.
Trump’s lawyer told CNBC that if indicted, the president would willingly surrender. But his posts on Truth Social, his preferred channel after receiving bans across social media, indicate he’d like his supporters to rally to his cause.
Yet after the numerous arrests in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, and the belief the violence there was instigated by federal officials to round up Trump supporters, a number of his fans are wary about taking to the streets and winding up in jail.
“If Trump gets indicted – stay away from protests. The Feds want nothing more than to lure people into another J6. Don’t fall for it. This accomplishes nothing,” wrote podcaster Eric Matheny.
“Sad times for our country. We’ve all seen what the federal government is doing to J6 attendees. They’d love to grab up more Trump supporters. Please be careful when attending any protests. The feds will become the agitators,” wrote journalist Breanna Morello.
Similar comments were made on Truth Social, warning that the Biden administration would be happy to have another Jan 6-type event where they could jail numerous more Trump fans.
“’Echoing January 6′?” wrote Liz Harrington, quoting a New York Times headline. “So you mean feds are planning to infiltrate any peaceful protests to stoke violence and then blame patriots so they can arrest and imprison more of their political opponents?”
“Be careful of protests!!!!! FEDS would love to arrest ALL Trump supporters!! Don’t give them another J6 to lie about!!!! This is a trap to catch as many Trumpers as they can!!! Protest on social media!!! Flood your pages with support for President Trump!” said another.
Even if his protesters don’t come out in force, Trump’s choice of his first rally after a potential indictment is disconcerting to some.
The former president will host a rally in Waco, Texas next week. Waco is a rallying cry for the far-right, who believe the FBI and ATF committed mass murder against the Branch Davidians sect 30 years ago when 76 people were killed.
The government raid spurred vehement anti-government extremism and was believed to help inspire the Oklahoma City bombing, where a federal office was blown up, killing 168 people.
We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the internet in your inbox every day.
*First Published: Mar 18, 2023, 10:08 am CDT
David Covucci is the senior politics and technology editor at the Daily Dot, covering the nexus between Washington and Silicon Valley. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]