On Tuesday morning, former President Donald Trump used his “Truth Social” platform to reveal that he had received a target letter from Special Counsel Jack Smith as part of the federal investigation into the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and attempts to overturn the 2020 election. In the hour before he broke that news, Trump went on a posting spree and shared six messages from the pseudonymous right-wing influencer “Catturd2” including some that suggested the Republican Party should work to remove Attorney General Merrick Garland for his efforts to investigate Trump.
“The Republican Party must fight fire with fire, and right now, or it will be extinguished!!!” Trump wrote as he shared a lengthy post in which “Catturd2” blasted the GOP for being “too chicken shit to impeach” and described the FBI as “the secret police for the Dem party.”
“The Republican Party = spineless, worthless, good-for-nothing cowards,” Catturd2 declared in the message shared by the former president.
In another pair of Truth Social posts, the former president called Smith’s investigation “VERY UNFAIR!” and a “WITCH HUNT” that is “ALL ABOUT ELECTION INTERFERENCE.” Trump, who is running for re-election against President Joe Biden and a slate of Republican primary opponents, is currently embroiled in extensive legal drama related to his past attempts to win power, to maintain it, and to his handling of classified materials. In April, Trump was indicted by the Manhattan district attorney for charges related to alleged hush money payments made to adult entertainer Stormy Daniels during the 2016 campaign. Last month, Trump was indicted in Florida for the way in which he allegedly stored, and refused to hand over, secret documents after leaving the White House. Trump has pleaded not guilty in both of those cases.
A target letter like the one Smith sent Trump typically indicates an imminent indictment. Spokespeople for the special counsel and Trump did not respond to questions about the potential charges detailed in the target letter. Along with the potential of charges from the special counsel, Trump is widely expected to be indicted by Fani Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County, Georgia, as part of her office’s own investigation into the extensive efforts to overturn his 2020 loss in that state.
The growing pile of indictments against Trump is utterly unprecedented. He is the first president — former or current — to be charged with criminal activity.
Trump has made a habit of responding to developments in these various cases with a slew of posts on Truth, which he helped launch after he and other right-wing figures were banned from mainstream social media platforms in the wake of the January 6 attack. “Catturd2” is a vocal defender of Trump who has amassed over a million followers on the site and more than 1.8 million followers on Twitter with a blend of folksy hyperpartisanship, conspiracy theories, and crude scatological humor. The account, which Rolling Stone identified as being administered by a Florida man, has been turned into something of a mini MAGA media empire with a store selling merch and even “a Catturd novel” with a “sci-fi” plot featuring a protagonist who has committed what they believe to be a righteous terror attack. Despite some of the extremism and, frankly, utter weirdness coming from the account, it has managed to interact with major right-wing figures including Trump, Tucker Carlson, and Elon Musk.
Five minutes after his Truth post sharing Catturd’s message calling for Garland’s impeachment, Trump amplified it a second time.
“The Republican Party must get tough, now. This is the strong sentiment that’s flowing through the veins of Patriots. DO SOMETHING!!!” Trump wrote.
Trump evidently hung out on Catturd’s page after twice sharing the post calling for Garland’s impeachment. Within the next forty minutes, Trump amplified four more of Catturd’s posts without adding comment. One of the posts was a collage that showed the White House among what Catturd described as “pictures of crack houses” in an apparent reference to the Hunter Biden scandal and the cocaine recently found in the West Wing.
The former president then shared three posts from Catturd that alluded to Trump’s overwhelming frontrunner status in the 2024 Republican presidential primary. Those messages made clear why Trump might enjoy the account so much. In Catturd’s world, the power Trump has been accused of illegally refusing to relinquish is never, ever called into question.
“Let’s face it, the primary is over,” Catturd wrote in one of the posts shared by the former president, adding, “Trump 2024.”