Fact Check: US Navy JAG Did NOT Arrest Journalist Mehdi Hasan on January 7, 2024

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: US Navy JAG Did NOT Arrest Journalist Mehdi Hasan on January 7, 2024 No Such Arrest

Did the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG) place journalist Mehdi Hasan under arrest on January 7, 2024, for committing treason? No, that's not true: Hasan has been active on his verified social media accounts since the date of the purported arrest, with no mention of being arrested. Also, the website where this claim was made publishes fabricated content.

The claim appeared in an article (archived here) published by Real Raw News on January 9, 2024, under the title "JAG Arrests Mehdi Hasan." It opened:

U.S. Navy JAG investigators on Sunday arrested liberal newscaster Mehdi Hasan on the charge of treason, alleging that he misused his authority at MSNBC to exacerbate the Plandemic hoax by broadcasting provably false COVID-19 and vaccine metrics to millions of gullible viewers, a Pensacola JAG source told Real Raw News.

Users on social media saw this title, description and thumbnail:

JAG Arrests Mehdi Hasan Image.png

(Source: RealRawNews.com screenshot taken on Thu Jan 11 16:57:29 2024 UTC)

A Google News search (archived here) using the keyword parameters of "U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps investigators" AND "arrested" AND "Mehdi Hasan" AND "January 7, 2024" did not produce any results to substantiate this claim. A search (archived here) of the U.S. Navy JAG website for the purported arrest of Hasan on January 7, 2024, also did not produce any results to substantiate this claim.

Hasan posted on his verified X account on January 7, 2024 -- the day he was supposedly arrested. The post included a video clip (archived here) from that day's "The Mehdi Hasan Show," with Hasan saying it was his last show and he was leaving MSNBC to pursue "new plans." Real Raw News explained the timing of Hasan appearing on television the same day he was supposedly arrested with a quote attributed to an unnamed "source" who said, "MSNBC and its Deep State friends must have scrambled to put together a CGI Hasan using pieced-together audio clips."

Not only does "The Mehdi Hasan Show" X account display the authentic MSNBC recording (archived here) of Hasan announcing his departure, but it also features multiple posts (archived here) that were made on January 7, 2024, the day of the alleged arrest in the article, that do not mention any such arrest of Hasan.

Hasan has been active on his verified X platform account since the day of the purported arrest, as seen in a January 11, 2024, post (archived here), where he shares a photo and quote from a USA Today article that is about President Joe Biden.

Under the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, the military does not have the authority to arrest civilians. This act can be voided under certain circumstances explicitly authorized by the U.S. Constitution or Act of Congress. Congress.gov does not show legislation making such authorization.

Lead Stories reached out to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and will update this fact check if a response is received.

Additional Lead Stories fact checks that mention the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps can be read here.

Real Raw News

Real Raw News has a long history of publishing false claims in mock news stories, many of them about convictions and executions of various public figures at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. For example, the site reported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hanged (she wasn't); former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta was executed (he wasn't); and "the military" convicted former Attorney General William Barr on charges of treason (it didn't).

The website for Real Raw News includes a disclaimer that declares the site does not stand by the contents of the stories, calling them entertainment. Specifically, it says:

Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. ... We have included this disclaimer for our protection, on the advice on legal counsel.

Real Raw snip.jpg

(Source: RealRawNews.com screenshot taken Tue Aug 3 16:39:48 UTC 2021)

Lead Stories has covered claims published by Real Raw News in the past. Previous Lead Stories debunks of Real Raw News items are collected here.

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  Kaiyah Clarke

Kaiyah Clarke is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Journalism. When she is not fact-checking or researching counter-narratives in society, she is often found reading a book on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Read more about or contact Kaiyah Clarke

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