The Fresno Bee reports that the FBI and Secret Service are both investigating lecturer Lars Maischak for tweeting that “Trump must hang” to save democracy.
On April 8, Breitbart News reported the tweet, which has since been pulled, and which read:
— Lars Maischak (@LarsMaischak) February 18, 2017
Later that day, the Fresno Bee reported on the growing controversy, noting that Breitbart News had singled out the tweet. Maischak defended his comment and attacked Breitbart, telling the Bee: “The function of articles like the one produced by Breitbart and affiliates is to whip up a digital lynch-mob of people sending threats and insults to my email and Twitter accounts, with the ultimate goal of silencing dissenters.”
Fresno State also distanced itself from the tweet in a statement obtained by the Bee: “Statements made on his personal social media accounts are his alone and are not endorsed by nor reflect the position of the University.”
Now, according to the Bee, the university is cooperating with a federal investigation: “Fresno State president Joseph Castro said 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.'”
On Wednesday, Maischak deleted his Twitter account altogether. He also apologized and, Fresno State’s Castro described the apology as a “good first step.” But Castro indicated there are numerous individuals calling for Maischak to be fired, and he is waiting for an investigation into Maischak’s tweets to be completed before making any decisions about Maischak’s future with the university.
As late as Monday, when the university released a new statement indicating it was prepared to cooperate with federal law enforcement, Maischak emailed the Bee to say Castro was “allowing himself to be instrumentalized for a right-wing smear campaign.”
Don’t tell me to “obey the Law.” “The Law” in this country is one part Racism, one part Class Oppression, all Capitalism. #TheResistance
— Lars Maischak (@LarsMaischak) March 8, 2017
The Bee describes Breitbart News as a “far-right news website.”