Secret Service investigating death threats against US VP Mike Pence made by pro-Trump lawyer Lin Wood
A pro-Trump lawyer banned by Twitter is being investigated by the Secret Service for calling for Mike Pence to face the firing squad.
Lin Wood, a Georgia-based conspiracy theorist and high-profile Trump supporter, had his Twitter account removed, on Wednesday, for a series of provocative tweets, including saying that the Capitol riot had been staged by Antifa.
Wood then switched to Parler, the ‘free speech platform’, to continue his rant.
‘Get the firing squad ready,’ he posted.
‘Pence goes FIRST.’
Pence infuriated the president and his supporters by refusing to block the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory, and by telling Trump he did not have the constitutional power to overturn the election result.
The message was deleted by Parler, the CEO, John Matze, confirmed.
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Yet Parler itself appeared likely to be shut down, after Apple and Amazon.com suspended the app from their services, saying the social networking service popular with many right-leaning social media users has not taken adequate measures to prevent the spread of posts inciting violence.
The action by Apple and Amazon follows a similar move by Google on Friday.
On Sunday, the Secret Service confirmed they were investigating Wood for his tweet.
‘We are aware of the comments and take all threats against our protectees seriously,’ a Secret Service spokesman told Fox News.
They are also investigating other individuals seen on a video inside the US Capitol telling: ‘Hang Pence!’
Pence was on Wednesday ushered into a secure section of the Capitol as the building was stormed.
Trump did not get in touch with him, to check on his safety – something which reportedly left the vice president’s aides furious.
Trump and Pence have not spoken since Wednesday.
Pence is said to be still considering whether to invoke the 25th Amendment, to remove Trump from office, but it is believed to be unlikely.
Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, has said that unless Pence moves ahead with the 25th Amendment on Monday she will proceed with impeaching Trump for the second time.
Twitter stepped in to stop ‘Hang Mike Pence’ trending in the wake of the MAGA mob riot, after the phrase began trending on the platform in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The social media giant permanently banned Trump on Friday night, citing risks of ‘further incitement to violence’.
A screenshot shows that of 1.26am, over 14,400 Twitter users had used the phrase.
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Twitter confirmed in a statement to Newsweek that it had moved to block the phrase because it violated rules on trending subjects.
‘We blocked the phrase and other variations of it from trending. We want trends to promote healthy discussions on Twitter. This means that at times, we may prevent certain content from trending,’ a spokesperson said.
‘As per our Help Center, there are Rules for trends – if we identify accounts that violate these rules, we’ll take enforcement action.’
The phrase was no longer trending later in the day and it does not appear on the Twitter Trending USA site, which tracks trending topics.
On Twitter’s Help Center, it has a rule to prevent violent threats against individuals as well as the glorification of violence.
The threatening phrase surfaced online in the wake of Wednesday’s riot where Trump supporters – among them white supremacists, QAnon fanatics and Proud Boys – violently broke into the Capitol building in an attack that left five people dead.
Horrifying footage from the scene of the siege shows a mob chanting ‘Hang Mike Pence’ as they stormed the building.
A Reuters’ photographer covering the riot also claimed he heard at least three Trump supporters speak about hanging the Vice President from a tree as a ‘traitor’.
Jim Bourg, the Reuters News Pictures Editor in DC, tweeted Friday that he heard ‘many more’ speak about executing Pence as they stormed the Capitol and tried to hunt him down.
‘I heard at least 3 different rioters at the Capitol say that they hoped to find Vice President Mike Pence and execute him by hanging him from a Capitol Hill tree as a traitor,’ Bourg said. (DailyMail)