Two days after posting a tweet in which he appeared to threaten that his impeachment would result in a second American Civil War, as The Inquisitr reported, and another in which he accused House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff of treason — a crime punishable by death — Donald Trump seemed to be growing increasingly agitated about the impeachment process against him, returning to his Twitter account to condemn the inquiry as a “coup, intended to take away the Power of the People.”
Trump’s “coup” tweet late on Tuesday afternoon set off an immediate response among his critics, some of whom expressed fear that Trump’s tweets framing the constitutional process of impeachment as a form of treason were actually a deliberate attempt to provoke his supporters to commit acts of violence.
“This is not an idle threat. This is an attempt to incite violence,” wrote journalist and author Steven Bechloss, on his own Twitter account.
“This man is a danger to public safety and our republic.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the opening of a “formal” impeachment inquiry into Trump after reports that in a July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump used the threat of withholding badly needed military aid to help Ukraine defend against a five-year-long Russian invasion to press Zelensky to interfere in the 2020 presidential election on Trump’s behalf, as The Inquisitr reported.
The president describes the constitutionally outlined process of impeachment as a “coup” because he thinks of himself as the state and disloyalty to him as treason. All the more reason to remove him from office. pic.twitter.com/SHIhCtYtZc
— Adam Serwer???? (@AdamSerwer) October 1, 2019
Fears that Trump’s rhetoric could set off violent actions by his supporters against people Trump has named as his enemies are not unfounded, according to a report in August by ABC News. The nationwide research study by ABC News identified 36 separate incidents of violence that were linked directly to Trump’s rhetoric.
“In nine cases, perpetrators hailed Trump in the midst or immediate aftermath of physically attacking innocent victims,” ABC News reported.
“In another 10 cases, perpetrators cheered or defended Trump while taunting or threatening others.”
And in another 10 such cases, according to the report, Trump and his words were claimed in court proceedings to have inspired a defendant’s violent behavior.
Critics also pointed out that the impeachment process, which has taken place only three previous times in United States history — most recently in 1998 against President Bill Clinton over an alleged lie about a sexual affair he carried on with a White House intern — did not constitute a “coup,” which is generally defined as an illegal seizure of government power, often involving bloodshed.
Atlantic Magazine journalist Adam Serwer also noted that even if Trump were impeached and removed from office, the U.S. government executive branch, as well as the U.S. Senate, would remain under Republican control.
“Not much of a coup,” Serwer quipped via Twitter.
“But since Trump is the state and the state is Trump, it is treason to remove him, to investigate him, even to speak harshly of him.”