A increasing number of alarms sounding in federal courtrooms, occurring less than a year before the 2024 presidential election.

A increasing number of alarms sounding in federal courtrooms, occurring less than a year before the 2024 presidential election.

Judge Randolph Moss gently swayed in his seat as he observed the packed courtroom before him. He then directed his attention to the young woman standing at the podium, tightly gripping a piece of paper. Moss commended Cassandra Buteau, stating that her court letter may have been one of the most influential he had encountered.

Buteau’s letter sought leniency at sentencing for her parents, Jan. 6 defendants

Jamie and Jennifer Buteau from the state of Florida. The letter included the latest, and perhaps the most visceral, in a recent wave of warnings issued in courtrooms about the dangers lurking in the 2024 presidential election cycle.

A review by CBS News of court proceedings in Jan. 6th criminal cases, including

The legal proceedings against ex-President Donald Trump conducted by the federal government.

Recent reports have shown an increasing number of concerns being raised regarding potential violence, conspiracy theories, and refusal to accept election results during the 2024 election season.

Attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.


According to court records, Jamie Buteau was recorded on video surveillance in the elevator lobby adjacent to the Crypt at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2021.

Department of Justice

Some other judges have clearly stated their cautions. On November 20th, Judge Bradley Garcia of the appeals court in Washington, D.C. questioned Trump’s lawyer about the potential for harassment and threats related to Trump’s social media posts during arguments about a gag order in his 2020 election conspiracy criminal case. This was just hours before Trump’s trial in March next year.

Garcia stated that as the trial nears, the tension in the atmosphere will continue to rise.

The court of appeals has not made a decision on whether to reinstate a restriction preventing Trump from publicly targeting prosecutors, court employees, or potential witnesses involved in his case. The Department of Justice claims that Trump’s statements have resulted in harassment and threats, including one instance of a death threat against a judge.

The special counsel claims that Trump posted a “threatening message on Truth Social.” The specific post in question was made on August 4, the day after his arraignment in this case, and stated: “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!”

According to Trump’s lawyer, the ex-president has not made any statements that could be considered threatening. The lawyer also stated that the court had no right to interfere in the Presidential election, particularly so close to the Iowa caucuses. They argued that the First Amendment does not give the district court the authority to control President Trump’s fundamental political speech.

The prosecutors from the Department of Justice have highlighted the continued possibility of political violence and a resurgence of the turmoil and rage that preceded the events of January 6, 2021. In a memo submitted last month during the sentencing of ex-Trump official Federico Klein for his involvement in the Capitol riot, the prosecutors contended that “the same fervor that sparked the January 6 riot has not dissipated,” and recommended a stricter sentence to serve as a deterrent.

16 members of the Oath Keepers

Several months prior, a court filing was submitted regarding the seditious conspiracy case involving 16 individuals who are members of the Oath Keepers.

Defendants from the Oath Keepers who were found guilty on January 6th.

According to legal representatives, a recent survey conducted by the University of California, Davis revealed that 20% of Americans believe that political violence could be justified in certain circumstances. Additionally, 10% of individuals believe that such actions would be justified if it resulted in the reinstatement of President Trump. This dangerous mentality poses a threat to our democracy if left unaddressed. The defendants involved in this case attempted to exploit this sentiment within our society in order to influence the outcome of a presidential election.

The judges presiding over these cases have frequently been the most unrehearsed and honest in identifying the potential danger surrounding the upcoming elections. During the sentencing of a defendant from Florida on January 6, Judge Tanya Chutkan stated, “We are constantly hearing reports of groups of people planning violence and the potential for violence in 2024.” Chutkan is also the judge overseeing Trump’s criminal case and has issued a partial restriction on public statements currently being reviewed by the appeals court.

Election Claims

On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, President Donald Trump addressed a rally in Washington to protest the certification of Joe Biden as President by the electoral college.

Evan Vucci / AP

Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland and member of the House Select January 6th Committee, noted the significance of judges publicly addressing concerns about potential violence in response to their investigation of the Jan. 6 attack and attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

Raskin expressed to CBS News that these courts are continuously faced with violent threats towards their staff and judges, which indicates a decline in the regard for the legal system.

According to Thomas Zeitzoff, a scholar of political violence and psychology at American University, there is a notion that the “opposing side” is not only a political rival, but also a malevolent entity that poses a danger to the nation.

According to Zeitzoff, there is a heightened likelihood of political violence in the 2024 election.

The Department of Justice claims that bringing charges against those involved in the Jan. 6 riot serves as a deterrent to prevent future uprisings and acts of political violence. So far, federal prosecutors have initiated approximately 1,200 criminal cases against individuals accused of participating in the riot or conspiring with others. Almost half of the defendants have admitted guilt. Of those who have gone to trial by jury, all have been found guilty of at least some of the charges brought against them. To date, no defendant has been acquitted by a jury trial.

However, according to recent statements from prosecutors, judges, and public witnesses, it appears that the ongoing prosecutions have not had a calming effect on the volatile and hazardous political climate and discourse, despite the approaching 2024 election.

The Buteaus’ daughter teared up as she read from more of her remarks in Judge Moss’s court last week. She said the amplification of lies and political toxicity have an impact on “an already angry, frustrated, and yes, overly gullible group of people.”

Scott MacFarlane

Source: cbsnews.com