Judge Says Trump Rhetoric Risks Further Violence

Yesterday Judge Amy Jackson Berman released a heavily redacted decision denying bail to a man named Cleveland Meredith. Meredith is an interesting story. He never entered the Capitol on January 6th and did not actually participate in any violence there. It wasn’t for lack of trying though. Meredith was late to the party because of vehicle problems, to include with his trailer that contained two guns (including Tavor X95 assault rifle with a telescopic sight), high capacity magazines, and 2,500 rounds of ammunition that included hundreds of armor piercing rounds.

Meredith also made clear what he intended to do when he got to Washington D.C. I include these quotes from various texts he sent to show the nature of the animals we are up against. On January 6, as he rushed to join the fray that was already in process, Meredith said the following:

  • “Burn DC to the FKG ground.”
  • “Ready to remove several craniums from shoulders.”
  • “I’m so ready to FK SOME TRAITORS UP.”
  • “I’m gonna collect a shit ton of Traitors heads.”
  • “Hauling ass, 3.5 hours from target practice.”

Alas, Meredith’s “hauling ass” (fortunately) didn’t get there in time to participate in the assault on the Capitol. Disappointed he decided to hang around Washington D.C. hoping for more action the next day. He spent January 7th trying to foment exactly that. Here are some of his texts from that day:

  • “I’m gonna run that CUNT Pelosi over while she chews on her gums.”
  • “Dead Bitch Walking. I predict that within 12 days, many in our country will die.”
  • “I may wander over to the Mayor’s office and put a 5.56 in her skull, FKG cunt.”
  • “Thinking about heading over to Pelosi CUNT’s speech and putting a bullet in hernoggin on Live TV.”
  • “Staying one more day since I got here late, need to FK with these commies.”
  • “I’m gonna walk around DC FKG with people yelling ‘Allahu ak Bar’ randomly.”
  • “I ain’t goin to jail, the morgue maybe, not jail.”

Just FYI on that last point, he’s in jail. As you can see this guy is a real charmer. A solid MAGA Trumper.

In the easy call of denying this horrible human being bail Judge Berman argued that the same rhetoric from Trump, and other Republicans, that inspired his violent threats had not let up and could inspire him to violence still:

The steady drumbeat that inspired defendant to take up arms has not faded away; six months later, the canard that the election was stolen is being repeated daily on major news outlets and from the corridors of power in state and federal government, not to mention in the near-daily fulminations of the former President.”

Judicial notice that the President of the United States, and other Republican leaders, inspired this defendant, and that their words to this day may continue to do so. The Big Lie rhetoric from Trump and other Republicans continues to constitute an ongoing national security threat.

Here is another interesting thing about that quote. I’d like to tell you the context the quote, but I can’t. It stands out as a small island of un-redacted material in sea of redacted material. About all I can tell you is that it is in the section of the Judge’s decision entitled “The Nature And Seriousness of the Danger to any Person or the Community that Would Be Posed by the Defendant’s Release.” Almost that entire three page section of the decision, excepting that one sentence, is redacted. You can find the quote on page 24 of the decision, look at if for yourself.

I am baffled as to why that section, and the one before it, are almost completely redacted. Perhaps the judge deemed it to have information prejudicial to the defendant’s eventual trial. More common is to protect the sanctity of a continuing investigation. Given that the judge seemed to be indicating who was responsible for inspiring this defendant that possibility has interesting implications.




Retired lawyer & Army vet in The Villages of Florida. Lifelong: Republican (pre-Trump), Constitution buff, science nerd & dog lover. Twitter: @KeithDB80

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Retired lawyer & Army vet in The Villages of Florida. Lifelong: Republican (pre-Trump), Constitution buff, science nerd & dog lover. Twitter: @KeithDB80

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