The Trump International Hotel near the White House has reportedly boosted its tariff for March 4, the date followers of far-right conspiracy theory propagators QAnon believe that former US president Donald Trump will return to power. While the Senate is holding a historic second impeachment trial to convict the former president of “Incitement of Insurrection”, some QAnon believers are busy floating a convoluted conspiracy theory that claims Trump will be inaugurated as the next US president on March 4.
The theory finds its roots in ‘sovereign citizen’ movement under which a group of people believe that they are not subject to any government rules or proceedings. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has described sovereign citizen movement as “domestic terrorism” in the US. According to the federal agency, sovereign citizens are anti-government extremists who believe that they don’t have to answer to any government authority, including courts, taxing entities, motor vehicle departments, or law enforcement.
“This causes all kinds of problems – and crimes. For example, many sovereign citizens don’t pay their taxes. They hold illegal courts that issue warrants for judges and police officers. They clog up the court system with frivolous lawsuits and liens against public officials to harass them,” says the FBI.
Many members of the so-called sovereign citizens believe that the United States turned into a corporation after a law was enacted in 1871 and the 18th president of the US, Ulysses S Grant, was the last legal commander-in-chief of the country. Some QAnon followers share the unfounded belief that any amendments after the 16th Amendment were invalid because, according to them, there has been no country known as the United States since it turned into a corporation.
Prior to 1937, US presidents were inaugurated on March 4 but was changed to January 20 by the 20th amendment. The date has gained significance among “sovereign citizens” and QAnon, a fringe group that has often claimed a threat of a “deep state” against Donald Trump. Michele Anne Tittler, one of the most prominent voices of QAnon, had recently laid out a detailed plan in a TikTok video. Tittler claimed that Trump will be sworn in as the 19th president of the United States on March 4 “under the restored Republic.””If Biden, Harris, Pence, Pelosi … are arrested for their crimes before January 20, there will be no one to assume the presidency… If there is no president on January 20, the corporation known as the United States of America will be dissolved. The military will then become the guardians of a nation during the transition. People will then have irrefutable proof that the election was stolen by foreign entities and that Trump was chosen by a landslide,” Tittler said.