The Volokh Conspiracy
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Nicholas Roske Used Reddit and Discord To Plan Assassination of Kavanaugh And Potentially Two Other Justices
Chilling information revealed from the search warrant affidavit.
The Department of Justice recently disclosed an affidavit in support of a search warrant for Nicholas Roske, who was charged with attempted murder of Justice Kavanaugh. The Daily Beast provides an overview of the document. Here, I will focus on the primary claims.
First, the search warrant seeks records from Discord, Google, and Reddit. Roske's handles include the email address email@example.com. Charming. He used these tools to plan the assassination.
ROSKE also stated that he used Reddit, Google, and other online forums to learn the skills he thought were necessary to complete his plan. . . . ROSKE further stated he had a Discord account but that he deleted the account on Sunday, June 5, 2022. ROSKE said that he used his Reddit account to ask individuals, who were unknown to him, questions in order to refine his plan to kill the Justice. ROSKE also stated that on Monday, June 6, 2022, he attempted to use the settings menu on the Acer laptop to conduct a data wipe of the device because ROSKE did not want anyone he conversed with to be implicated as a result of his actions.
Second, the affidavit explains that Roske started to perform the searches on May 5. You may recall that the Politico leak report came out on May 2. I don't think that timing is coincidental.
Between May 5, 2022 and June 8, 2022, the search history on ROSKE's cell phone included the following terms or phrases: "quietest semi auto rifle," "Reagan assassination attempt," "most effective place to stab someone," "assassin skills," "assassin equipment," "assassinations," "supreme court," "how to be stealthy," "gun lubricant," and "supreme court" among other things.
Roske also visited the Supreme Court's web site to figure out who the current members are:
A review of the web history on ROSKE's phone revealed visits to the "Current Members" page of the Supreme Court of the United States' website ("https://www.supremecourt.gov/about/biographies.aspx"), and the "List of assassinations" page on Wikipedia ("https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assassinations").
These searches are particularly telling. He was intent on assassinating a Justice, and saving Roe v. Wade, yet he had to look up the biographies to know who he wanted to murder. It is a sad fact that most Americans cannot even name a single Justice–apparently, including those who plan to assassinate them.
Third, Roske posted on the "TwoXChromomes" subreddit, which is "intended for women's perspectives."
On May 10, 2022, under the Reddit page r/TwoXChromosomes, TARGET REDDIT-4 posted the text "Would Kavanaugh being removed from the SC help women long term?"
Fourth, Roske posted on the United States Marine Corps subreddit:
On June 6, 2022, TARGET EMAIL-4 received an email from Reddit that showed Reddit user u/xxxx [Redacted by JB] replied to TARGET REDDIT-4's comment on the Reddit page r/USMC. According to that email, 34 minutes earlier, TARGET REDDIT-4 had posted the following: "How difficult is it to covertly take out an HVT?" Based on my training, knowledge, and experience, I believe "HVT" to refer to "High Value Target."
I was very curious to see how people responded to Roske, but I could not locate any of these postings on Reddit. And the Internet Archive did not capture them.
Fifth, Roske engaged in a Discord chat with another person. Roske said "im gona stop roe v. wade from being overturned." And he would "remove some people from the supreme court." Plural. Yes, it seems like Roske was intent on assassinating as many as three Justices–he was "shooting for 3." We can guess which three. Roske reasons if there are "more liberal than conservative judges, they will have the power."
In reviewing those Discord communications, FBI agents discovered the following exchange, dated May 25, 2022, between Person #1 and Sophie 42 (ROSKE):
ROSKE: im gonna stop roe v wade from being overturned
Person #1: what u tryna do
ROSKE: remove some people from the supreme court
Person #1: u gonna Tun? Run?
ROSKE: after you mean?
Person #1: oh haha good one
Two dead judges ain't gonna do nothing
The whole government is fucked
There's no fixing that
You would die before you killed them all
ROSKE: yeah but I could get at least one, which would change the votes for decades to come, and I am shooting for 3
all of the major decisions for the past 10 years have been along party lines
so if there are more liberal than conservative judges, they will have the power
This new information is absolutely chilling. I pray that in the wake of Dobbs, these threats against the Justices subside. And I remain shocked at how little attention this story is getting. A person tried to murder a Supreme Court Justice to prevent him from casting a vote in a landmark case. Two months later, crickets from the media.