FACT CHECK: Did A Federal Court Rule That Barack Obama ‘Can Be Charged As A Terrorist’?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims a federal court ruled that former President Barack Obama “can be charged as a terrorist.”

Verdict: False

There is no record of such a ruling. The claim originated from an article published on a satire website.

Fact Check:

Social media platforms are often replete with misinformation about politicians. In this case, Facebook users have shared a screen grab that purportedly shows mugshots of the former president along with the phrase “Federal Court Rules Obama Can Be Charged as a Terrorist.”

There is no evidence to corroborate the claim, however. A court ruling involving a former president would have been covered extensively by media outlets, yet no credible reports could be found. The only match was an article, titled “Federal Court Rules Obama Can Be Charged as a Terrorist,” from the website Obama Watcher.

“The 13th Federal Court of Writs and Warrants has cleared the path for Barack Hussein Obama to be tried for treason,” reads the article. “According to the unanimous three-judge ruling, if private citizen Barack Obama committed crimes, he can be prosecuted, regardless of his position when he held them.”

The 13th Federal Court of Writs and Warrants does not appear to exist. Obama Watcher is a parody website that describes itself as part of a network that publishes “parody, satire, and tomfoolery.” Yet, while Obama Watcher disclaims the satirical nature of its content, the screen grab being shared on Facebook fails to include a similar warning, portraying the information as factual. (RELATED: Does This Image Show Barack Obama’s Official White House Portrait?)

This is not the first time a false claim has spread about the former president. In May, social media users shared a debunked claim that President Donald Trump sent Obama a bill to “repay the government” for vacations that weren’t official state business.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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