Photo by Darren Halstead on Unsplash

Once Again, Trump Courts Violence To Protect His Backside

Phil Garber
8 min readMar 19, 2023


The symbolism should not be lost on anybody. Trump will stage his first rally for the 2024 presidential race in Waco, Texas, the site of a bloody, 1993 siege of a radical religious cult by federal and state law enforcement.
The Waco siege has become a rallying cry of the anti-government, far right and was cited by Timothy McVeigh as the main reason for his and Terry Nichols’s plan to execute the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995, as well as the modern-day American militia movement and a rise in opposition to firearm regulation. It’s the perfect symbol for the ongoing cry by trump and the Republicans that the federal government and “deep state” is out to get them.
With an indictment looming on campaign-related violations, trump plans to visit Waco to rally supporters on March 25. The ex-president has been whipping up potentially violent demonstrations around the nation as he continues to claim that he is being hunted down by the deep state Democrats, not unlike the killing of the Branch Davidians leader David Koresh.
Trump’s calls for protest have raised fears that violence will erupt as it did after trump egged on supporters to assault the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. In late 2020, trump told supporters to come to Washington on Jan. 6 to protest the election results, urging them to “Be there, will be wild.”
Law enforcement has begun preparing for possible violent protests, including a call by some hardcore trumpers to create a human, “Patriot Moat” to surround trump’s castle at Mar-a-Lago in West Palm Beach, Fla., to keep authorities from arresting trump.
As expected, trump also is using the potential indictment to fund raise. Shortly after trump called for his followers to “protest” and “take our nation back,” he shared a fundraising video on his Truth Social site.
“If you are doing poorly, as so many of you are, do not send anything. If you are doing well, which was made possible through the great policies of the Trump Administration, send your contribution,” Trump wrote, listing his website for donations. “We have to take back our Country and, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
The Waco siege, also known as the Waco massacre, was the law enforcement siege of the compound of the religious cult Branch Davidians and its leader, David Koresh. The 51-day siege by federal, state and military agencies between Feb. 28 and April 19, 1993, ended with 82 Branch Davidian children and adults killed and 11 wounded and four Alcohol Tobacco and Firearm agents killed, with 16 wounded.
The Branch Davidians was based at Mount Carmel Center ranch in Axtell, Texas, 13 miles northeast of Waco. Suspecting the group of stockpiling illegal weapons, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) obtained a search warrant for the compound and arrest warrants for Koresh and other group members.
The ATF agents attempted to serve the search warrant when an intense gunfight erupted, resulting in the deaths of four ATF agents and six Branch Davidians. The siege ended after the FBI launched a tear gas attack to force out the cult. Soon the center was engulfed in flames, leading to the deaths of 76 Branch Davidians, including 25 children, two pregnant women, and Koresh.
Critics claimed the federal agents had started the fire intentionally and used live ammunition in the siege and attack. Department of Justice reports from October 1993 and July 2000 concluded that although incendiary tear gas canisters were used by the FBI, the Branch Davidians had started the fire, based on listening devices overhearing their discussion, and evidence that showed at least three simultaneous ignition points. The FBI contends that none of the agents fired any live rounds on the day of the fire. Critics say that live rounds were fired by law enforcement, and suggest that a combination of gunshots and flammable tear gas was the true cause of the fire.
As he did amid past allegations, trump claims the latest possible indictment is part of a series of politically-motivated witch hunts including two impeachments, the lengthy investigation into Russian influence on the 2016 election, his role in promoting the Jan. 6 insurrection, his false claims of widespread voter fraud, his failure to turn over top secret government documents, his attempts to overturn the Georgia vote in the 2020 election and any and all other questions.
Trump’s claim of a witch hunt is a subterfuge to blunt and distance himself from the possible charges he is facing stemming from his involvement in an alleged scheme to pay “hush money” to adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016, who claimed she had an affair with trump in 2006. Former trump lawyer Michael Cohen has admitted he paid Daniels $130,000 and was later reimbursed by trump, ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Trump has denied having the affair but The Trump Organization recorded the $130,000 reimbursement as legal expenses, possibly in violation of a New York state law for companies to misclassify the nature of expenses.
Of course, trump has not been indicted but if he is, he will stand trial, represented by the best lawyers that money can buy. He is evidently trying to rile public opinion in order to sway the prosecutor into not issuing an indictment.
Among those who commented on trump’s latest machinations, was famed horror story king, Stephen King, who was succinct, as usual.
“Donald Trump is a sociopath and a criminal. To let him near the nuclear codes again would be insane,” King tweeted.
Republicans have been circling the wagons, as they did when trump was twice impeached and in reaction to other allegations against the former president. Some supporters said that an indictment will guarantee trump will be martyred in the eyes of many Americans and be elected by a landslide in 2024.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., an impassioned right wing trumper, threatened Republicans who don’t back trump’s claims of innocence.
“If the Manhattan DA indicts President Trump, he will ultimately win even bigger than he is already going to win. And those Republicans that stand by and cheer for his persecution or do nothing to stop it will be exposed to the people and will be remembered, scorned, and punished by the base,” Greene tweeted. “The base has had enough of Republicans that won’t stand up for the people and against the Democrats war against Trump, his admin, his supporters, and traditional values.”
Another far right lawmaker, Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., said Democrats are pressing for an indictment because they believe their “only hope” of winning in 2024 is if trump is arrested.
“The Democrats know they won’t be able to beat our ideas at the ballot box in 2024 so think this is their only hope,” Boebert said.
Notably silent have been the Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor, who has entered the race for the GOP presidential nomination and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to also challenge trump for the nomination.
“DeSantis is making his first unforced error by not denouncing this lawless act. He should say he will only extradite if there’s proper legal review. This is one of those pivotal moments in your life. If he gets this wrong, then he’s better off not even declaring,” tweeted far-right conspiracy theorist, Mike Cernovich, who helped spread the Pizzagate conspiracy theory that pedophile Democratic officials were involved in a child-sex ring.
Republican lawmakers continue to parrot trump’s and the GOP’s latest mantra that the Justice Department is carrying out a vendetta with politically-motivated prosecutions. In speaking in support of trump, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., third in line for the presidency, leaped to trump’s support and has validated trump’s calls for potentially violent, mass protests.
“Here we go again — an outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA (district attorney) who lets violent criminals walk as he pursues political vengeance against President Trump,” McCarthy tweeted. “I’m directing relevant committees to immediately investigate if federal funds are being used to subvert our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated prosecutions.”
McCarthy’s tweet had 4.3 million views.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, who last week slammed trump for promoting the Jan. 6 violence and called trump a “fake Christian,” said the latest case against trump is a “politically charged prosecution.
“I’m taken aback at the idea of indicting a former president of the United States at a time when there’s a crime wave in New York City,” Pence said. “[H]ere we go again, back into another politically charged prosecution directed at the former president of the United States, and I would just hope for better.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said the New York prosecutor had “done more to help Donald Trump get elected president than any single person in America today.”
Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., said in a television interview, “I think the viable question for the American people is whether or not you have a progressive prosecutor using the justice system to go after political enemies for political splash.”
Alie Alexander, a leader of the far right, “Stop the Steal” movement, tweeted a warning to protesters in New York City that they would be faced with “the single most hostile jurisdiction in the United States. There is no law and order. You have no liberty or rights there. You will be jailed or worse. Godspeed if this is your calling.”

Alexander had previously tweeted that if trump was arrested or under the threat of a “perp walk, 100,000 patriots should shut down all routes to Mar-a-Largo.”

“Now, I’m retired. I’ll pray for him though!” Alexander posted on the Telegram platform.
Predictably, the crazies are coming out in trump’s defense. One is Joseph D. McBride, a conservative lawyer known for defending several January 6 defendants. McBride last week compared trump to Jesus Christ.
“President Trump will be arrested during Lent — a time of suffering and purification for the followers of Jesus Christ,” McBride wrote on Twitter. “As Christ was crucified, and then rose again on the 3rd day, so too will [Donald Trump]. Violence is never the answer. Winning the election is. Vote for Trump!”
The far right, on-line community has been predictably outraged at the possible indictment of trump. Grassfire, a Maryland-based, national pro-trump group, issued a call for “EMERGENCY ACTION NEEDED: Trump Facing Arrest In NYC!”
“The news is as SHOCKING as it is OUTRAGEOUS and COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE. President Trump announced on his TRUTH social media account today that he’s going to be arrested and processed at a New York City police station on Tuesday,” Grassfire posted. “A George-Soros-backed district attorney in the ‘Big Apple’ — who’s known for refusing to pursue felonies — plans to slap America’s 45th president with a misdemeanor indictment over alleged hush-money payments occurring before Mr. Trump became Commander-in-Chief.”

Soros is a billionaire, Jewish philanthropist who is often a trope of anti-Semites.