The Trump Administration May Have Its First Domestic Terrorism Case

download-1We have been discussed the arrests associated with two attacks on New York police officers using Molotov cocktails.  However, two radical young lawyers may have handed the Trump Administration the perfect case to frame as domestic terrorism in the wake of the controversy over President Donald Trump declaring that he would designate Antifa a terrorist organization.  I criticized such a designation as legally unfounded and constitutionally dangerous. However, as we discussed yesterday, Colinford Mattis, 32, and Urooj Rahman, 31, may have supplied an alternative avenue in using ample federal laws to prosecute attacks as domestic terrorism without the need of any formal designation.  The two defendants are expected to be released on bail today.

While many of us noted that a designation of a terrorist organization is generally a process handled by the State Department for “foreign terrorist organizations,” commentary often ignored that such a designation is not needed to treat defendants as domestic terrorists (as opposed to trying to declare the amorphous Antifa movement as a terrorist organization).


The case could be framed perfectly as a test case of the Administration treating defendants as domestic terrorists under the definition in subsection 5 of 18 U.S.C. 2331:

The term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—

(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;

(B) appear to be intended—(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

Indeed, these attorneys may be accused of a terrorist trifecta under the governing law.  They clearly acted in a way “dangerous to human life … [in] violation of the criminal law;” “appear to be intended” to intimidate or coerce or to influence policy or affect conduct of mass destruction.” If the Justice Department is looking for a way to reframe cases as domestic terrorism this would seem the case that they are looking for.

18 U.S.C. § 2332A also prohibits material support for acts of terrorism and the allegation that the two attorneys were attempting to hand out Molotov cocktails could be viewed as both as a case of direct terroristic acts as well as material support. The provision includes 57 different federal criminal statutes that the code calls “federal crimes of terrorism.”

Likewise, the Code of Federal Regulations at 28 C.F.R. §0.85 defines “terrorism” as including “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

The FBI has a long-standing policy on handling such crimes as domestic terrorism and a policy to open parallel terrorism investigations in such cases.  It guidelines include the following instructions that

The FBI defines terrorism as an “unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any element thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.” The mission of the Domestic Terrorism Program (DTP) is to detect, deter, prevent, and respond to Domestic Terrorist Organizations (DTO) or individuals who threaten or conduct domestic terrorist activities within the United States. (See the forthcoming Counterterrorism Policy Implementation Guide.) (U) While HC investigations focus on crimes against a person or property and are motivated, in whole or in part, by the individual’s prejudice against a race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin, DT investigations focus on crimes that are committed for political or social reasons by organized extremist groups. An example of a political agenda is an anarchist group carrying out activities to overthrow the government. Incidents related to a social agenda include criminal activities carried out by extremist groups in the animal rights or environmental movements.

(U//FOLIO) When an HC occurs, and in an effort to bring consistency to classifying investigations that may be addressed under the CR and DT programs in which the subject has a nexus to any type of white supremacy extremist group, the investigation must have a dual caption…

The Justice Department has previously declared defendants to be domestic terrorists, including members of white supremacist groups.  There was no objection to that effort in the media or some commentators. Indeed, many encouraged the treating of such groups and cases as domestic terrorism.  Many wanted the Charlottesville case treated as terrorism, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions referenced it in the same terms.  However, it was ultimately framed as a hate crime not terrorism in the prosecution and plea agreement of James Fields.  Likewise, the attack of Robert Bowers at the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue was prosecuted largely under hate crime laws. However, cases like the El Paso shooting were immediately framed as domestic terrorism investigations.

The case of two attorneys will likely appeal to the Justice Department as a demonstrative case for domestic terrorism.  The defendants are less than appealing as lawyers who allegedly became law breakers.  They had lives that many would relish. Mattis graduated from New York University School of Law in 2016 and received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University. He was also previously employed as an associate at Holland & Knight.  Rahman was just admitted to the New York bar in June 2019 after graduating from Fordham University School of Law.  Rather than use their training to help others legally, they are accused of trying to distribute explosive or inflammable devices to attack police.  In other words, from the perspective of the Administration, they walked right out of central casting for a domestic terrorism case highlighting such crimes as an attack on the very notion of the rule of law.

As a criminal defense attorney, this would be a case that begged for a plea deal, but it is not clear that the prosecutors would be eager to bring the case to such an expedited closure. That is the particular irony here.  These two young attorneys may have supplied the very case that the Administration was seeking at the very time it needed it was needed most.


210 thoughts on “The Trump Administration May Have Its First Domestic Terrorism Case”

  1. “Police used tear gas to clear protesters from Lafayette park so Trump could take a photo at St. John’s Church”

    Australian Press captured the event pretty well. And Australia would like an investigation.

    1. That’s a lie the Park Police put out a statement, it did not happen.

      Chucky schumered you.

    2. Notice in the vid no one reacts to ‘tear gas’ ?
      How dumb.
      Brain dead tards love fake news.

  2. The Beginnings. by Rudyard Kipling

    It was not part of their blood,
    It came to them very late,
    With long arrears to make good,
    When the Saxon began to hate.

    They were not easily moved,
    They were icy — willing to wait
    Till every count should be proved,
    Ere the Saxon began to hate.

    Their voices were even and low.
    Their eyes were level and straight.
    There was neither sign nor show
    When the Saxon began to hate.

    It was not preached to the crowd.
    It was not taught by the state.
    No man spoke it aloud
    When the Saxon began to hate.

    It was not suddently bred.
    It will not swiftly abate.
    Through the chilled years ahead,
    When Time shall count from the date
    That the Saxon began to hate.

  3. Turley’s TDS is in full bloom today. Cpt. Bone Spurs came out of his bunker for a campaign photo op, complete with a copy of the Bible, posing in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church. Of course, before the tubby fake POTUS coward could get to the church, he had his goons use tear gas on peaceful demonstrators, to clear the way. How anyone could fail to find this repulsive is beyond me.

    Turley cites the CFR: “the Code of Federal Regulations at 28 C.F.R. §0.85 defines “terrorism” as including “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

    Please explain to me how tear gassing peaceful protesters lawfully present on public property, to clear the way for a fake POTUS to go to a campaign photo op, is not a violation of this law.

    1. Would the police fire tear gas and then walk through it themselves without wearing gas masks? Don’t think so.

    2. I find you repulsive. You might change your mind with a pack of rioters on your doorstep before you wake up. but you would probably invite them in for cheesecake and a cuppa tea

    3. Natasha – 20 Secret Service officers were injured while protecting the President the other night. Don’t you think the idea of getting him in the bunker was a good idea? If not, you are dumber than a box of rocks.

      BTW. this is going to break your heart. Hillary is not President. Donald J. Trump is President.

    4. “use tear gas on peaceful demonstrators”
      Have a video, because there’s no way any protesters were peaceful from what I’ve seen. Where’s the link with the video and sound.

    5. I just watched the news report that use of tear gas in your scenario is a lie.

    6. Chuckey lied to you. You got schumered – the Park Police put out a statement – it is a lie, no tear gas was used.
      Peaceful is also incorrect.

  4. Antonio, take it easy. They ‘re only looking for $14 trillion. The way I see it, it can be added on to the national debt or the government can just print all that money( produce money out of thin air). The after that the native Americans will line up for their fair share.

    1. Blacks and their leftist allies will be absolutely shocked that the upcoming non-white dominated society of 2060 just will not tolerate black shenanigans. White leftists will also be shocked at their treatment as a despised minority. Sorry, white lefties, in the brave new world of 2060, the blacks and browns will not share your love of Israel, bike trails, arugula, symphony music and virtue signaling and they won’t be making statues honoring good white liberals of the past.


      1. if this keeps up, in 50 years or less, the Chicoms will own America.

        then at least we won’t have black rioting in the streets.

        nor will ANTIFA be tolerated,. ha, not for a second. Communists always flush the anarchist waste down the toilet once they’re done using them. each and every one. you see how Stalin icepicked them all out of existence.

        1. mr kurtz

          Traditional communists such as Joseph Stalin had no use for Frankfurt School types. and regarded them as ersatz Marxists. Their quarrel was with the capitalist system, not white people or culture.

          Had no use for anarchists and Trotskyite types either. Regarded them as impractical dreamers and constant troublemakers, sh@t stirrers, if you will.

          BTW – the first modern use of the word “racist” came from Leon Trotsky in History of the Russian Revolution. Was used in context of condemning the Civil War “Whites” and their wanting to hold on to traditional Russian culture.

          Not a Marxist, just pointing this out.


          1. Yes Trotsky is a like a patron saint of the modern university

            Universities, they’re party to blame for this mess too. Instigators!
            & See how the rioters have mostly left them alone?

            Because the rioters and looters have no brains, they are just weaponized lumpenproletariats, out there creating terror for law abiding citizens. Ask who benefits and those are the real enemies. Not the idiots and looters, but who turned them loose.

  5. Rioting should be suppressed now with live ammunition from organized government forces. Mass arrests of ringleaders to follow.

    This is old hat in the rest of the world. Only in America is this kind of disorder tolerated.

    America, a weak and divided nation, a terminal patient in the cancer ward.

    The silver lining on this mess, is that people who previously only thought about their pocketbooks and their bellies, now have to think about saving their own skins

    and in this fight, eventually people will get the message– sometimes– like it or not– rightly or wrongly– but sometimes–
    your skin becomes your uniform

  6. It’s too bad that these guys took this path. They seem like a couple of aspiring young rappers who were just about to turn their lives around.

  7. Video taken from Cermak and Cicero in Chicago. Latin Kings driving away black looters with gunfire.

    Lefties like to group all non-whites and various shades of browns into a united group in their fight against white racism. This coalition of the fringes is volatile and largely imaginary. So much for the upcoming muticult utopia you leftists long for and believe is only 30 years away.

    Here is a note for all of you white lefties (and blacks) out there.

    Blacks may have worked for your ancestors, but not for me and mine. My ancestors were in Spain and Latin America during the antebellum and Jim Crow era. I OWE BLACKS NOTHING.

    I can assure you the above sentiment is common among Latin people, regardless of origin or ethnicity.


  8. The ACLU won’t allow it. The Fundamental Transformation is a must have for the controllers and there won’t be any vote on it.
    How about that democracy, comrade.

    1. Their mistake was handing out Molotov cocktails instead of firearms. If they were handing our firearms, they would have had the NRA, every Republican politician, the Russian propaganda machine, Turley and Trump on their side.

      1. Their mistake was handing out Molotov cocktails instead of firearms.

        Their mistake was acting as domestic terrorists, their weapon of choice is irrelevant. A point the NRA, Republican politicians, Turley and Trump denounce. It’s called The Law, give it a think.

  9. What about the police violating the right of the people to peacefully assemble by firing at least tear gas just so King Donald the Mad could stroll to St John’s? And then kick out a priest or two?

    Why isn’t that an instance of so-called domestic terrorism? Certainly isn’t legal…

      1. The protesters, press, and clergy at Lafayette Park and at St. John’s Church in DC *were* peaceful prior to the attacks from law enforcement. Below, I posted a couple of links about it, including one from an Australian broadcaster attacked by police for no reason, which is now a diplomatic incident.

              1. P.S. I was wrong when I said earlier that the Australian link had video, my mistake. I had seen video elsewhere and misremembered it being in the story. But now you have video of that from both the cameraman’s perspective and from the perspective of an onlooker who saw it happen / recorded it as it was happening. Here’s another from an onlooker’s perspective: (perhaps this is the same video CNN used, but this one has sound).

        1. I see. CTHD has drawn conclusions based on one article again without suitable proof. My guess is the police were clearing the park out and used the men in one line as a continuous shield that protects the police and makes it clear that one needs to follow the orders given under an emergency situation. Of course anything else is also possible.

          What we have here is CTHD whose ideology seems to trump honesty and logic. He will find guilt in Flynn’s words but won’t be able to produce them and he will impugn the integrity of the police knowing nothing of the situation being reliant on only one article. That is NOT being Committed To Honest Discussion. It is the opposite.

    1. Fake news.

      ‘A source says tear gas was never used — instead smoke cannisters were deployed, which don’t have an uncomfortable irritant in them. And, the source says Park Police didn’t know President Trump would be walking across the park several minutes later. Park Police say the reason the crowd was disbursed with smoke cannisters is that at that moment, officers were being pelted with water bottles. Another factor was that protesters had climbed on top of the structure at the north end of Lafayette Square that had been burned the day before.

      Obviously, this is Park Police’s side of the story. I’ll be checking with wtop reporters who were on the scene last night, to plug-in what they observed with what Park Police are telling me. Park Police will be releasing a statement later today.

      Obviously folks in the White House will be asked today about the President’s walk across Lafayette Square to St. John’s Episcopal Church. But, my Park Police source says the agency made its decision to use smoke cannisters at that moment because of what was being thrown at officers, not because President Trump planned to make an unannounced walk to the church. Park Police will be releasing a statement later today. We will keep asking questions.’

      Neal Augenstein

    2. Would the police fire tear gas and then walk through it themselves without wearing the proper protective masks? Don’t think so.

  10. Hopefully the DOJ will pursue a charge of domestic terrorism. Additional charges should also be considered, especially for the egregious atrocity of using a Bud Light bottle when a less bourgeois Kulov bottle was more appropriate, and cheaper. Plus it would have helped the Russian collusion/interference/agent claims.

    1. DonEstif – the real crime is the Bud Lite bottle. If she is going to be a terrorist, she needs to drink a real beer.

  11. Who knows, Mattis may have enhanced his employment prospects. NYU, his alma mater, seems to value bomb making skills in the law professors it hires. It has had former Bernadine Dorhn and Kathy Boudin, both former members of Weather Underground, on staff at one time or another.

    The Weather Underground was a collection of maladjusted, privileged, white, liberal, upper middle class students responsible for bombing buildings back in the ’60s and ’70s.

    For diversity purposes, the racial beancounters probably would like to see NYU hire a bomb making law professor who is black. So why not make it a legacy hire and snap up a black graduate from your own law school?

  12. Analogy: The woman who says she is the mother of Abubakar Shekau, leader of the terrorist group Boko Haram, has given her very first media interview.

    Nigeria. The Boko Haram leader bears the same name as his hometown. In this exclusive interview, the mother says she does not know if her son is still alive. More than 30,000 Nigerians died.

  13. There should not be hate crimes or terrorism crimes, or any other type of crime that can be described by any adjectives beyond the specific acts and traditional criminal states of mind that constitute them. These terms are not consistent with liberty because they allow the government to characterize offenses in political or moral terms, and thus remove a limit on the political manipulation and abuse of the criminal justice system by those in power. Thus, intentionally throwing a molotov cocktail into a police vehicle should be the crime, not domestic terrorism, that is, if you want civil liberty.

  14. It really does look like only a perfect serving up of the perfect set of defendants.
    What on earth were these two lawyers thinking? They go through years of education, training and testing, only to throw it all away in one stupid move — no career and years in prison on the horizon instead.
    And, if they are as TDS compromised as they seem, they are now serving Trump instead of undermining him.
    Poetic justice, like right out of a movie.

  15. THROW THHE BOOK AT THEM. Also, do the same to others who are arrested that are considered domestic terrorist or cross state lines to cause damage. Also, go after ANTIFAR LEADERS and especially their Money Sources?????

    1. Do you also want police to go after white nationalist violence / leaders / money sources?

      “White nationalist group posing as antifa called for violence on Twitter”

      1. And now, in New York City, it appears anarchists are the ones creating the mayhem. Not even the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is biased as anything, couldn’t find evidence of white supremacists (via NYT) [emphasis mine]:

        SPLC ain’t finding any.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

        1. SPLC are a pack of frauds and slanderers. They do however monitor the “racists” closely and in between exagerrations and distortions and scare mongering tactics, they sometimes have some useful information

          now that Morris Dees the office harasser and his sidekicks and harassment enablers like Heidi Beirich have been fired, maybe they will dial back their lies and little bit too.,

        2. ‘Again today lawlessness reigned supreme.The police hardly interfered.

          All of this shows just how dangerous the Progressive Democrats are as Mayors and Governors.

          Their impracticality and desire to pander makes it impossible for them to take action necessary to protect us.’


      2. Yes. This should apply to any group that provokes and/or is involved in violence as the groups on the left are presently doing.
        Do you have proof of that? Or, are you just doing what leftists do? Why do we always see those on the left, try to deflect from threir own crimes, by making unfounded statements about others.

    2. identify flows of funding to antifa and then trace it back to BLM or Soros or wherever it’s coming from
      seize assets and make arrests of the ringleaders

      or, if judicial process is too slow then summary measures must be used.

      this is civil war not pattycake

  16. “18 U.S.C. § 2332A also prohibits material support for acts of terrorism and the allegation that the two attorneys were attempting to hand out Molotov cocktails could be viewed as both as a case of direct terroristic acts as well as material support. The provision includes 57 different federal criminal statutes that the code calls “federal crimes of terrorism.”

    I doubt the charge would be labeled “domestic terrorism” in the Indictment or Charging documents.

    Do you have any legal training at all. Because if you don’t then I will not make jibes in your direction.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  17. There is nothing in our criminal code that enables people to be *charged with* domestic terrorism. The term is defined, but doesn’t appear as a crime that one can be *charge with*.

    Michael McGarrity, Assistant Director, Counterterrorism Division, FBI, testifying before Congress on 6/4/2019: “You’re not going to find an actual charge of domestic terrorism out there.”

    1. Prosecutors could just lob a few Molotov cocktails there way and walk in the opposite direction. Quite a trend these days with roaring approval from the Left

      1. I’m liberal. I don’t approve of violent protest. I also don’t approve of unprovoked police violence (such as this video of police attacking the press, unprovoked: and this report of police attacking clergy on church property: ).

        How about you: do you object to both, or only the former?

        1. Committ – both the press and the priest are ordinary citizens in the eyes of the law. They need to follow orders. If the press runs in front of rubber bullets that is on them.

          1. “They need to follow orders.”

            No surprise that you don’t actually provide evidence of the police ordering anything before shooting the teargas, etc. You simply assume it. I doubt that you’ve even tried to find out whether your assumption is true, which you could easily do by watching the many videos capturing what happened. You’ll find that your assumption is false.

            And the press did not “run[] in front of rubber bullets,” which you’d know if you simply watched the video I linked to.

            But apparently you’d rather focus on your imagined scenario instead of dealing with the actual facts.

              1. “I notice a complete lack of evidence on your part.”

                If you think that, then you weren’t paying attention. I already provided evidence — two links — in my initial comment that you were responding to:

                Care to retract your false claim of “a complete lack of evidence on [my] part”? I doubt it.


                1. Committ – I cut and pasted your link and got nothiing. and this report of police attacking clergy on church property:

                  1. Then you have a problem with your browser. You can manually add “https://www.” in front of each.

          2. The press and the priests are all liars alike. They’ve lead credulous and idiotic white sheeple down the road to ruin for a long time now. Wake up and grow a pair!

        2. Liberals and Democrat cheerleaders are apologists for unrestrained violence from the antifa & black mobs, for arson, for rioting, and for looting.

          Americans must vote out the Democrat cheerleaders for street terror, or America will end. 2020 will either vote out the apologists for looting and arson or it will be the last election that matters.

          Right now, probably the goose is cooked already, but a landslide for Trump might stave off an eventual one party state in which the Democrat party just unleashes its looters on the population, to make us cower in fear of our oppressors.

          As if them locking their states down excessively under the excuse of the pandemic, to induce an economic Depression was not bad enough! We see they could care less about the pandemic now, Isnt that right?

          Political leadership needs to man up now, or they are equally part of the problem. End the rioting by force today.

          This situation is beggin for a Thermidorian reaction. If you dont want that, then use the legitimate tools of government which exist today to restore order.

          I hate the Democrat party leadership. I don’t hate my fellow Americans, and not the rank and file democrats, nor even the many honest Democrat officals lower in the party, but I hate Pelosi and the corrupt bilionaires who back their disorder and sabotage of this country who have lead it to terror and ruin in their obsessive resistance against lawful government by Trump.

          I hate, I hate, I am not afraid to hate, I do not fear hell, we have hell coming here and now on Earth and it’s brought to you by a generation of Democrat leadership who pandered to the worst elements and instincts of disordered factions in our society.

          You practicing Christians and individualists out there still refusing to hate and turning the other cheek need to wake up before you’re all dead! Let the fear wash through you, wake you up, and then let the hate flow. Let it flow and lead you to action. Meet hate with hate and fire with fire and let the strong survive. Right now, i tell you, Republicans look incredibly weak to me and I am disgusted with conservatives, Republicans, and white people who for decade after decade always turn the other cheek and run off to the suburbs and move on with your days. Wake up fools, before you end up like that guy who had his head staved in with a brick.

          Oh, but maybe you will go to heaven? Sure you will! And the rest of the living will be that worse off.

          That man is Charles Schultz, he was brave but foolish, indeed. He brought a knife to a gunfight. Had he a gun and used it he might not be in the hospital. he could have rid society of criminals and done us all a favor. Now he’s lucky to be alive. Had he shot as many as he could before they took him down, he would be a hero. Now he’s just a victim. Like Reginald Denny was.

          He should have not waved a sword, he should have cut livers out and heads off and made a bloody mess of his oppressors. Don’t wave your weapons, use them effectively

  18. I do hope they start filing domestic terrorism charges against these arsonist rioters. Protest is fine, violence is off the rails.

    1. i hope counter-terror snipers are deployed and they begin taking scalps like Chris Kyle. Lots of them.
      That’s the solution that will have the best impact at this point.

      It can be ordered, and it should be ordered.,

    1. It really does look like only a perfect serving up of the perfect set of defendants.
      What on earth were these two lawyers thinking? They go through years of education, training and testing, only to throw it all away in one stupid move — no career and years in prison on the horizon instead.
      And, if they are as TDS compromised as they seem, they are now serving Trump instead of undermining him.
      Poetic justice, like right out of a movie.

      1. I suspect the female was the ringleader in this, and he went along with it because he wanted to please the girlfriend, and years of indoctrination by leftist professors with romanticized tales of the 60s convinced him it was okay to “continue the struggle.” Not that his participation is excused in any way; it’s just sad that he threw away his otherwise promising career for essentially nothing. She is identified as a “human rights lawyer,” and along with the t-shirt that is the last thing you want to wear in a booking photo, likely has a long history of radical politics.

        1. TIN– I suspected the same, boy trying to impress his pretty but lunatic girlfriend. Prison will introduce him to a new class of ‘oppressed’ people and I think he will discover he has little in common with them. If he isn’t scared and remorseful he should be.

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