Monisha Rajesh, a journalist for the Telegraph, has taken the internet’s advice and deleted her account declaring that it’s “about time for a presidential assassination,” when it became clear that Donald Trump had won the election.
You can view a cached version of her Twitter account here.
While Rajesh lives in London, calling for the assassination of a president is illegal under federal statute “18 U.S.C. § 879 : US Code – Section 879.”
The code states:
- a) Whoever knowingly and willfully threatens to kill, kidnap, or inflict bodily harm upon –
(1) a former President or a member of the immediate family of a former President;
(2) a member of the immediate family of the President, the President-elect, the Vice President, or the Vice President-elect;
(3) a major candidate for the office of President or Vice President, or a member of the immediate family of such candidate; or
(4) a person protected by the Secret Service under section 3056(a)(6); shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
Also in her favor is the 1969 case of Brandenberg v. Ohio, the case of Ku Klux Klan leader who had been convicted on threats of violence. Clarence Brandenberg had been convicted under Ohio’s law for making violent threats in public speech — but it was overturned by the Supreme Court on the grounds that his threats were abstractly made and therefore protected under the First Amendment.
So, ironically, Rajesh’s statements are protected speech thanks to a fight put up by the KKK.
Democrats on Nov 8th: 'When they go low, we go high'
Democrats on Nov 9th: 'people have to die' and 'assassinate Trump'
— Rebellion Report (@RebellionReport) November 10, 2016
Rajesh also wasn’t the only one to call for the president-elect to be assassinated in their online temper tantrums over the election results. Twitter exploded with people calling for the president-elect’s assassination after he won. Many of the tweets have now been deleted, or their accounts suspended, but here is a sample:
Trump ain't president 'til inauguration day lmao you guys still have time to assassinate BOTH Trump and Pence.
— kaaazandraAh! (@kazzandrabalona) November 9, 2016
I just pray that the first nigga who tries to assassinate Donald Trump don't miss
— Greg (@BankRolllGreg) November 9, 2016
— JaMaL J. (@boi_so_reckless) November 10, 2016
The Secret Service has not yet commented on the slew of threats and calls for violence on social media.