FRESNO (CBS SF) – A lecturer at California State University, Fresno is facing scrutiny following tweets criticizing President Donald Trump, including a message in which he said, “Trump must hang.”
History lecturer Lars Maischak tweeted on February 17th, “To save American democracy, Trump must hang. The sooner and the higher, the better.”
Several days later he tweeted, “Has anyone started soliciting money and design drafts for a monument honoring the Trump assassin, yet?”
Maischak’s tweets gained national attention last week after they became the subject of an article on the far-right website Breitbart.
After the story was posted, Maischak said on his Twitter account that he does not intend to harm the president nor wishes anyone else to do so.
On Tuesday, university president Joseph Castro said in a statement it would fully cooperate with any federal investigation.
“Professor Maischak’s personal views and commentary, with its inclusion of violent and threatening language, is obviously inconsistent with the core values of our University,” Castro said.
“While Fresno State is committed to state and federal constitutional rights of free speech, the content of statements by Dr. Maischak warrants further review and consideration. The review of these and any other statements will be conducted in the context of rights of free expression, but also for potential direct threats of violence that may violate the law,” the university president went on to say.
In a statement to Fresno CBS affiliate KGPE-TV, Maischak said in part he was “appalled” by Castro’s statement, saying the university president is “allowing himself to be instrumentalized for a right-wing smear campaign.”
David Snyder, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, told KGPE the tweet that causes concern is the one regarding a monument for a Trump assassin, but he feels it does not encourage others to act.
“It’s merely a statement that he’s not a big fan of the president, and he would like to see a monument to anyone who would assassinate the president.” Snyder said.
Snyder said the U.S. Secret Service would give Maischak a call, but it is unclear if he would face charges.