Law enforcement officials in Georgia say they are investigating threats targeting members of the grand jury that indicted former President Donald Trump and 18 of his allies, after private information about jurors was published online.
On Thursday, the Fulton county sheriff’s office announced that it was “aware that personal information of members of the Fulton county grand jury is being shared on various platforms”.
On Monday the Fulton county grand jury returned a 41-count indictment charging Trump and others with illegally conspiring to overturn his 2020 election loss in Georgia.
According to the Independent, several users on Trump’s rightwing social media platform Truth Social posted the names of the jurors, with one user writing, “Someone needs to look into all of these grand jurors. I can guarantee that everyone of them has a BIG FAT D by their name!”
Another user wrote: “I’m looking forward to the fun some will have with the list of leaked grand jurors …,” the outlet reported.
Meanwhile, CNN reported that in addition to names, photos, social media profiles and even home addresses appearing to belong to the jurors have been shared online on various platforms including pro-Trump forums and websites that have been linked to extremist attacks.
In Thursday’s announcement, the sheriff’s office said that its investigators were working closely with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to track down the origins of the threats in Fulton county and other jurisdictions.
“We take this matter very seriously and are coordinating with our law enforcement partners to respond quickly to any credible threat and to ensure the safety of those individuals who carried out their civic duty. If anyone becomes aware of a threat, please call 911 immediately or contact your local police department,” the sheriff’s office added.
Though the grand jury proceedings were secret, the unredacted names of the grand jury members were included in the indictment. That is standard practice in Georgia, in part because it gives criminal defendants a chance to challenge the composition of the grand jury. The indictment itself is a public record.
The American Bar Association condemned any threats as well as the sharing of other personal information about the grand jurors online.
“The civic-minded members of the Georgia grand jury performed their duty to support our democracy,” the association’s statement said. “It is unconscionable that their lives should be upended and safety threatened for being good citizens.”
Since the Fulton county district attorney, Fani Willis, delivered the 41-count indictment, Willis, who is African American, has faced a wave of racist abuse online including from Trump, who, using a thinly veiled play on the N-word, wrote on Truth Social: “They never went after those that Rigged the Election … They only went after those that fought to find the RIGGERS!”
As Trump prepares for his fourth arraignment, authorities remain concerned over the spike in political violence across the country. This week, a Texas woman was arrested and charged with threatening to kill Tanya Chutkan, the federal judge overseeing the criminal case against Trump in Washington DC.
The woman, identified as Abigail Jo Shry of Texas, also threatened to kill Sheila Jackson Lee, a Texas Democratic representative, according to court documents reviewed by the Associated Press.
Meanwhile, Trump himself has also made threats to authorities and his rivals amid his mounting legal woes, writing on social media: “If you go after me, I’m coming after you.”
Source: Elections - theguardian.com