Intelligence sources told CBS News that there has been a “significant increase” in online threats and violent rhetoric from domestic violent extremists since former President Donald Trump claimed he would be Indicted by a Manhattan grand jury.
But the sources said they have not identified any credible or direct threat to any person or property and they are continuing to monitor for credible specific threats.
Domestic violence extremists in online postings have warned that prosecutors Manhattan District Attorney’s Office If Trump is impeached, it will cross a red line and face more violence than it should January 6, 2021, Attack on the US CapitolSources said. There have also been postings calling for civil war.
Sources said the threats mostly targeted law enforcement, judges and government officials in New York and elsewhere who domestically violent extremists perceive as participants in what they see as Trump’s political persecution.
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A law enforcement source said they’re seeing chatter online, much of it cited by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, but there’s not much mobilization toward violence or protest at this point. However, law enforcement sources said that the situation may change soon.
Manhattan district attorney is investigating allegations of campaign finance violations surrounding “hush money” provided by Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohenwho served a federal prison sentence in connection with payments to adult film stars Stormy Daniels During Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Trump has denied any wrongdoing, including having an affair with Daniels.
Trump posted on social media over the weekend that he expected to be arrested, which would result if a grand jury decides to indict him as soon as Tuesday. Manhattan’s district attorney had no comment.
New York Police Department and other federal, state and local agencies is Security plans are being prepared around the Manhattan criminal courthouse where Trump is expected to appear if he is indicted.
Law enforcement sources said high-level law enforcement officials were meeting Monday to further coordinate security plans in preparation for a possible Trump indictment.
New York court officials have jurisdiction inside the Manhattan courthouse, where Trump is expected to appear if indicted by a grand jury. Court officers also have jurisdiction over the outer perimeter of the courthouse on Center Street in downtown Manhattan.
The NYPD, the Secret Service — which is tasked with protecting Trump — as well as the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force are all part of the contingency plan, law enforcement sources said.
One of the possibilities officials are planning for is a possible convoy of protesters who could try to disrupt traffic by blocking bridges, tunnels or roads in Manhattan.
“Your safety is our highest priority,” Bragg said in an email to them Saturday addressing the safety concerns of his employees.
“We do not tolerate attempts to intimidate our office in New York or threaten the rule of law,” Bragg wrote. “Our law enforcement partners will ensure that any specific or credible threat against the office is fully investigated and appropriate safeguards are in place to ensure a safe work environment for all 1,600 of us.”
In Washington, DC, U.S. Capitol Police are expected to have extra staff on Tuesday and Wednesday, a source familiar with the matter told CBS News.
A senior congressional source said Capitol police plan to declare an emergency Tuesday ahead of any potential charges. The declaration allows mutual aid assistance from other departments and has been used before other recent protests. The source said there was no specific intelligence they were tracking, but the department was proactively announcing it.
The US Capitol Police declined to comment.
The Metropolitan Police Department said it was not aware of any potential Trump-related protests in the capital.
“MPD will continue to monitor and plan accordingly with our federal law enforcement partners to ensure the safety of DC residents and visitors,” MPD said in a statement. “MPD encourages the public to be vigilant, if you see something, say something.”
A New York grand jury is hearing the case against Trump and could vote to indict him as early as this week.
Michael Kaplan, Nicole Killion and Robert Leger contributed to reporting.