At least two Republican members of Congress used alarming warlike rhetoric in response to federal charges against Donald Trump on Thursday.
The former president, who faces a 37-count indictment including conspiracy to obstruct justice and withholding a document or record, is due to appear in court on Tuesday.
Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.), the tough-talking former Louisiana police officer who recently manhandled an activist on cameraasked his Twitter followers to “Buckle upin preparation for that day, in a dispatch that sounded like battlefield orders.
Jeff Sharlet, a writer who also uses the platform, underline that “1/50K” refers to a common scale for military maps, and that “know your bridges” could be a reference to capturing key infrastructure.
Tom Malinowski, a former Democratic congressman from New Jersey, also tweeted about Higgins’ message. “Most House GOP colleagues of this guy know he’s dangerous and unbalanced, but they tolerate him. That’s it,” Malinowski said.
Another GOP congressman, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Arizona), was slightly more blunt.
“We have now entered a phase of war,” he said. tweeted Friday. “An eye for an eye.”
Matthew Tragesser, spokesperson for Biggs, denied that the tweet amounted to a declaration of war.
“The Ministry of Justice is rogue and armed. The Republican Party needs to step up and counter its efforts,” he told HuffPost in an email.
“The Republican Party needs to prosecute people like Hunter and Joe Biden because the party now has a mountain of evidence against them,” he added, referring to GOP investigations into the president and his son.
Higgins’ office did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
War rhetoric has spread in the wake of Trump’s new indictment. Mark Levin, a Fox News host, said in a monologue Thursday that the charges amounted to a “war on Trump.”
“This is a war on the Republican Party. And this is a war on the republic,” he added, while comparing the indictment to the 2021 riot at the US Capitol.
“June 8th is insurrection day, not January 6th. An armed American lawyer, an armed American attorney general, unleashed the full force of the American government against a former president, the leading Republican candidate to assume the current president Levin said, before making an apparent reference to Trump’s March indictment in New York.
“We are tens of millions. You have crossed the Rubicon twice and we will never forgive you.
In the anonymous depths of the Internet, statements by Trump supporters were explicitly violent.
“It won’t stop until the bodies start piling up,” one user reportedly wrote on The Donald, a pro-Trump message board.
“Maybe it’s time for that civil war the fucking DemoKKKrats have been trying to start for years now,” another wrote.