QAnon Believers Think Trump’s Indictment Will (Somehow) Lead to Mass Arrest of Democrats
For many of Donald Trump’s supporters, today is a dark day indeed: The president pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts today after being formally arrested in a Manhattan courtroom. But for those in the Qanon conspiracist movement, hope springs eternal, and “The Storm” is always just around the corner.
Ahead of Trump’s arrest, mainstream conservatives argued that it set a new precedent, opening the door to future cases against Democrats including Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton. But the Q hardliners have taken this idea much further, arguing that deep state liberals have fallen into an obvious trap. They were particularly excited by a comment from Dan Scavino, a former Trump adviser and White House Deputy Chief of Staff: “The guardrails are off, a turning point in the United States of America,” he tweeted and posted on Truth Social. “There is no going back.”
On 8kun’s “qresearch” forum, users quickly latched onto “There is no going back” as significant, with one user pointing to a 2019 post in which the anonymous Q used the same phrase. Another person replied, “that’s a proof if I have ever seen it.” (Qanon communities call anything a “proof” if it seems to confirm their overall conspiracy theory about Trump battling a secret war against nefarious elites.) Some on the 8kun board voiced the sentiment that Trump, by allowing himself to be indicted, was setting those very elites up for arrest themselves. In response to a meme that asked “At what stage in the game do you play the TRUMP card,” a user replied, “After all legal precedents have been opened?”
Prominent Q influencer IntheMatrixx, who had been banned on Twitter for such content before being reinstated under Elon Musk‘s ownership, appeared to jump on the same narrative. He pulled up a different 2019 Q drop that read, “First indictment [unseal] will trigger mass pop awakening.” In Q lore, the “awakening” will occur when people become aware of and rise up against the so-called “cabal” opposing Trump — the Democratic pedophiles and Satanists, et al. Here, IntheMatrixxx is implying that Q not only predicted Trump’s indictment but knew it would see MAGA enemies finally brought to justice.
On Great Awakening, another Qanon forum, chatter about Trump’s charges setting a hugely important “precedent” was widespread. “Media acknowledges PRECEDENT now established to arrest previous Presidents!” gloated user truthloveliberty, who added, “These morons don’t know what’s coming.” On Monday, user island_photo kicked off a thread by asking “Was Durham waiting for: The Precedent???” As special counsel, John Durham was tasked in 2019 by Attorney General William Barr with investigating the origins of the FBI’s 2016 Trump-Russia investigation. QAnon and MAGA loyalists believed he would uncover a massive conspiracy against Trump — but no such revelations followed.
Another user followed a similar thread, reinterpreting an old Q drop to mean that Trump’s arraignment will lead to him “signing/authorizing the unsealing a portion of the 399,907 Sealed Indictments.” This refers to a Q myth that the Department of Justice is “holding hundreds of thousands of sealed indictments against Democratic politicians and other members of the elite, enumerating their many crimes, mostly related to sex trafficking,” per the Anti-Defamation League’s explanation. Presumably, if these nonexistent documents were unsealed, members of the cabal would be arrested and jailed en masse, triggering the great awakening among ordinary Americans who have yet to accept the gospel of Q.
“The Patriot Voice,” a Q-affiliated Telegram channel with 55,000 followers, shared a message that read in part, “The PRECEDENT that was just set is going to come back to BITE HARD,” as Trump’s indictment “opens up a MASSIVE Pandora’s Box that [they] will NOT be able to close.” The account SGAnon, meanwhile — which has almost 100,000 subscribers — homed in on a Truth Social post from Kash Patel, who briefly served as chief of staff to the acting secretary of defense under Trump. Patel had described Trump’s indictment as “fantasy island justice.”
Under a screenshot of the post, SGAnon wrote “Fantasy Island —> quite the description there. Who ELSE is being ‘prosecuted’ by [Southern District of New York]? Ties to Island Trafficking?” The theory here appears to be that Trump’s adversaries are now set be charged in connection to the sex trafficking ring of the late Jeffrey Epstein. (The irony being, of course, that Trump and Epstein were friends.)
Some QAnon prognosticators were ahead of this curve. X22 Report, a podcast with 659,000 subscribers that now airs on the “free-speech” website Rumble after it was banned from Spotify in 2020, streamed an episode on March 31 titled “Bait Taken, Hunters Now Become The Hunted, Precedent, Pandora’s Box Has Been Opened,” depicting Trump as Rambo and insinuating that he had once again outmaneuvered the foolish libs trying to put him in prison. Along with “precedent,” the term “Pandora’s box” is getting a lot of play among the Q set this week as the far right continues to hope that what is objectively bad news for Trump will also hurt Dems somehow. On the extremist social app Gab, a user shared a meme of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who brought the current case against Trump, holding the Bidens and Clintons in a literal box.
From the outside, it may seem like wishful thinking, but such is the prerogative of a Q soldier: endure loss after loss, years of humiliation and disappointment, but never stop believing that you know a hidden truth and your vengeance is close at hand. Just have to wait a little longer.