The FBI is actively cooperating with Colorado law enforcement agencies after threats were directed at state Supreme Court justices who recently ruled to exclude Donald Trump from the state’s 2024 presidential ballot. FBI Public Affairs Officer Vikki Migoya confirmed the FBI’s awareness of the situation and stated that they are committed to investigating any threats or acts of violence rooted in extremist views, irrespective of the motivation.
While a spokesperson for the Colorado Judicial Branch refrained from commenting on specific threats, Master Trooper Gary Cutler from the Colorado State Patrol emphasized that any threats against judges would be handled by local authorities. The Denver Police Department responded to a potential hoax report at a justice’s residence, and investigations are ongoing.
In addition to federal involvement, state and local law enforcement, along with non-governmental research groups, are monitoring extremist online forums for signs of potential threats to public officials. Analysis of online chatter by a non-partisan research organization revealed frequent mentions of the names of the four Colorado Supreme Court justices involved in the Trump ballot ruling in “incendiary” posts. Although the analysis found no specific threats, it indicated a risk of lone actor or small group violence in response to the ruling.
The online activity mirrors patterns seen after previous federal indictments of Trump, characterized by vague calls for civil unrest and violent language without concrete plans for implementation. Last week, Colorado’s Supreme Court made an unprecedented 4-3 decision, ruling that Trump is ineligible as a presidential candidate due to the 14th Amendment’s “insurrectionist ban.” The ruling is temporarily on hold pending Trump’s appeal to the US Supreme Court, which could have broader implications.
Amid these developments, federal law enforcement remains vigilant, drawing from lessons learned since the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security are attentive to potential real-world violence arising from online rhetoric.