Michael Folk, a Republican member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, was said to have faced criticism after tweeting that Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should be “tried for treason, murder, and crimes against the US Constitution… then hung on the Mall in Washington, DC” for her use of private email servers while in office, as reported by WLWT.
Notwithstanding the fact that those convicted of capital offenses are generally hanged and paintings hung on walls, as reported by Grammarist, Michael Folk’s view on Hillary Clinton did not impress his reported employer, United Airlines, who tweeted that they are “appalled by comments advocating harm to anyone.”
We’re appalled by comments advocating harm to anyone. They do not represent United & we’re looking into the matter. https://t.co/TchV8CC8YK
— United (@united) July 17, 2016
United reported that they are investigating the incident.
Folk was reported to backpedal on his assertion that Hillary Clinton should be “hung,” while maintaining his stance that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee deserves to face legal proceedings.
“I do think she should be tried and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Folk was quoted by WLWT. However, with regard to whether he truly believed that Hillary Clinton should be executed, the Republican balked. “No, my gosh. The hyperbole in the statement was probably uncalled for.”
Corn picking time! pic.twitter.com/XRzO8lAdhA
— Michael Folk (@MichaelFolk34) October 12, 2015
On July 5, FBI Director James Comey stated that, despite the fact that Hillary Clinton had engaged in conduct he described as “extremely careless” with regard to her “handling of very sensitive, highly classified information” that “no reasonable prosecutor” would advance charges against her or members of her staff.
Belinda Biafore, the chair of the West Virginia Democratic Party, called Michael Folk’s suggestion that Hillary Clinton should be “hung” “disturbing,” “concerning,” and “baffling.”
“The mention of hanging and implication of murder should never, ever be acceptable,” Biafore stated. “Folk’s actions should deem him as unfit to serve and Speaker Tim Armstead should take action if Folk doesn’t resign.”
Twitter and other social platforms have begun to gain a reputation for cesspools of taunts and threats. A 20-year-old from Connecticut was arrested in April after he tweeted a bomb-threat at a Donald Trump rally, as reported by the New York Post. There have been no shortage of outright threats against Donald Trump’s life, as reported by The Inquisitr.
“I am willing to kill Donald Trump and serve a life sentence. [T]he whole world would thank me for doing that,” Emad El-Din Ali Mohamed Nasr El Sayed, a 23-year-old Egyptian student studying in the United States, was reported to have posted on Facebook in February. The Egyptian student was subsequently arrested and ordered deported.
“Dozens” of the other examples of tweets threatening presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s life are reported to have been found on social media.
Conversely, Winning Democrats has described a May tweet by Donald Trump himself as being “a thinly veiled” reference to Hillary Clinton being assassinated.
Crooked Hillary wants to get rid of all guns and yet she is surrounded by bodyguards who are fully armed. No more guns to protect Hillary!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 21, 2016
Since first running for office, President Barack Obama has been the target of a seemingly endless stream of online threats and taunts, as reported by Time. Some of the seeming threats directed at the president have been deemed to be protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Zane Memegar, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, describes the interstate communications law, 18 U.S.C. § 875(c), as being an “important tool” in the fight against online threats and stalking. Those convicted under the legislation may face five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Threats against sitting and former presidents and presidential candidates are taken very seriously and are investigated by the police, FBI, and Secret Service, among other law enforcement agencies.
Michael Folk’s employment status with United Airlines and whether he is liable for criminal prosecution for his tweets remain unclear.
[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]