Fact Check: JAG Did NOT Arrest Colorado Supreme Court Justice Melissa Hart

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: JAG Did NOT Arrest Colorado Supreme Court Justice Melissa Hart No Record

Did the U.S. military arrest a "fourth" Colorado Supreme Court justice who voted in favor of removing former President Donald Trump from the ballot in the state for the 2024 presidential election? No, that's not true: This claim appears in an article on a website that regularly publishes fabricated content. Lead Stories previously debunked claims from the same site about three other Colorado Supreme Court justices who were also purportedly arrested on these exact charges. The most recent claim is that Melissa Hart is the fourth justice allegedly arrested.

The claim appeared in an article published by Real Raw News on April 1, 2024, titled "JAG Arrests 4th Treasonous Colorado SCJ Melissa Hart" (archived here). It began:

Colorado Supreme Court Justice Melissa Hart, one of the four justices who ruled in favor of striking President Donald Trump's name from the state's primary ballot, received an unexpected visitor Sunday morning, and it wasn't the Easter Bunny.

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

JAG Arrests Colorado SCJ Hart Image.png

(Source: Real Raw News screenshot taken on Apr 3 16:18:37 2024 UTC)

In a December 22, 2023, fact check, a January 3, 2024, fact check and a March 1, 2024, fact check, Lead Stories found the claims that the U.S. military arrested Colorado Supreme Court justices Monica Marquez, William Hood and Richard Gabriel in connection with removing Trump from the 2024 Colorado presidential election ballot to be false.

In response to an inquiry from Lead Stories regarding the purported arrest of Hart, Rob McCallum, a public information officer for the Colorado Judicial Department, wrote via email on March 3, 2024:

[This claim is] False.

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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