President Donald Trump did not pressure two federal Muslim judges to resign, as a story on a conservative website alleges.
The story on the Ladies of Liberty site says the president sent letters to the judges instructing them to quit unless they publicly denounced Sharia law.
The story says Trump was responding to thousands of letters and complaints that the judges were trying to “impose Sharia Law on America.” It says both judges ultimately resigned.
A federal courts spokesman declined to comment, beyond saying the story was false. He said he didn’t want to comment further for fear of legitimizing the story’s contents.
The story identified the judges as Herm ali al Akbahri of the Dearborn, Michigan, court and Judge Mashala Laharalla of the Sixth District probate court.
No individuals by those names are listed in the Federal Judicial Center’s repository of judges who served since 1789. And there is no federal judicial presence in Dearborn and no such thing as a federal probate court.
The website does include a disclaimer calling itself “a whimsical playland of conservative satire.”
“If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined,” it states.
Ibrahim Hooper with the Council on American-Islamic Relations said on its face alone, the story appears “ridiculous, with fake ‘Arab/Muslim’ names and other over-the-top nonsense.”
Still, such stories tend to trigger a flood of hate messages on social media, Hooper said.
The Constitution stipulates impeachment — not presidential executive orders — as the method for removing federal judges.
Last year, a similar debunked story on other sites claimed Trump had removed another federal Muslim judge from the bench for making rulings allowing Sharia Law to be practiced in Dearborn.
This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.