FBI, Secret Service probing tweets by Fresno State prof who said Trump must hang: Fresno Bee

Fresno FBI Secret Service Maischak
Maischak (Screengrab: ABC30)

On Wednesday, the Fresno Bee reported that Fresno State President Joseph Castro said he “has been in frequent contact with the FBI, Secret Service and Homeland Security since last Saturday when professor Lars Maischak made national headlines after a report surfaced that he had tweeted ‘to save American democracy, Trump must hang. The sooner and the higher, the better.’”

Maischak Trump FBI Secret Service Fresno

Earlier in the day, Maischak issued an apology of sorts for his outrageous tweets:

“I apologize for the tone and content of my statements made on Twitter.

“I ask forgiveness of those who felt threatened or offended by them.

“It was never my intent to harm anyone, nor to encourage others to harm anyone.

“My statements each represent the end point of a dark train of thought triggered by my despair over the actions of the present U.S. government.

“That is what I meant by calling them ‘dark predictions.’

“It felt cathartic at the time to write them down.

“With 28 followers on Twitter at the time, I never expected them to be read by anyone but a close circle of acquaintances who would know to place them in their context.

“To treat Twitter as of no more consequence than a journal was a poor decision.

“I have deleted my Twitter account, to preclude the possibility that anyone reading my statements in the future would take them as encouragement to act violently or unlawfully.

“In this spirit, I am prepared to take full responsibility for my statements.”

Maischak has angrily defended his tweets, blaming what he called a “right-wing smear campaign” by conservative sites like Breitbart and the Daily Caller.  As we noted here and here, his tweets routinely referred to Republicans as Fascists and Nazis, attacked the Constitution, attacked Christianity and one message even suggested physically assaulting Democrats calling for national unity in a Trump administration.

“Democrats saying ‘national unity’ can have a free punch in the face, anytime. The nation is the problem,” he tweeted on January 16, days before Trump’s inauguration.  Nothing violent there, right?

Then there’s this:

Maischak Fresno

Another tweet showed a picture of a bullet, calling it the “cure for racism” if administered to the cranium.  Nothing violent about a bullet to the head, right, professor?

(As an aside, Maischak’s deleted Twitter feed can still be seen here…)

Castro issued a statement in response to Maischak’s apology, but said the probe would continue.

“I appreciate Dr. Maischak’s apology and willingness to take accountability for the statements made on his Twitter account. In his note to me, Dr. Maischak reiterated that it was not his intent to incite violence or harm others, however, Fresno State has a responsibility to continue a review of the situation. As previously stated, the University takes this matter seriously and is handling it in accordance with applicable law, policy and the requirements of the faculty collective bargaining unit agreement,” he said.

The Bee added:

Castro said he appreciated Maischak’s apology, calling it “a first good step” in calming the critics who want him fired, deported or killed. The president said he is not ready to judge Maischak because the university is in the initial stages of its investigation. But Castro also pointed out that he and Fresno State value a person’s right to free speech and a professor’s right to academic freedom. “We want a free exchange of differing views,” Castro said.

That being said, Castro told reporters that the university’s main goal is to ensure the safety of students and to that they receive a quality education.

“We will continue to educate our future leaders,” Castro said. “But I want folks to know that we will do the right thing.”

Let’s hope that’s the case.

Earlier this week, I started a change.org petition, calling on the school to fire Maischak.  You can see that petition here.

If Maischak is truly sorry for what he said and not just sorry that he got caught, he should do the right and honorable thing and voluntarily resign, effective immediately.  If he does not, the school should take action.

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to discuss this issue with Fresno TV host John Malos.  You can see that discussion in the video below, with yours truly showing up at about the 50 minute mark:

I also addressed this during an interview on Fresno’s PowerTalk 96.7:


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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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