FBI joins Fulton County in investigating threats to Trump grand jury
The FBI is collaborating with Fulton County law enforcement agencies to investigate threats made against members of the Fulton County grand jury after they returned a 41-count indictment Monday charging former President Donald Trump and 18 others with illegally conspiring to overturn his 2020 election loss in Georgia.
The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday it was investigating after the names and purported addresses of the grand jurors started turning up on far right and conspiracy-laden online forums. Some commenters on the sites threatened revenge.
Unfortunately, the names of the grand jurors were contained in the 98-page indictment, but it did not contain other identifying characteristics.
The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, along with other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, are actively working to identify the source of these threats. Sheriff Pat Labat emphasized their serious commitment to this matter and underscored the importance of ensuring the safety of individuals who fulfilled their civic duty by serving on the grand jury.
They are swiftly responding to any credible threats and to safeguard the well-being of those involved in the grand jury process.
The situation underscores the importance of protecting the anonymity and safety of individuals involved in legal proceedings, especially those in sensitive cases with high public interest.
In a statement, the FBI confirmed that it takes all potential threats seriously and individuals responsible for making threats in violation of state and federal laws will be subject to prosecution. However, the FBI did not provide details of the ongoing investigation.
In Georgia, it is standard practice to include the names of the jury because it gives criminal defendants a chance to challenge the composition of the grand jury. The indictment itself is a public record.
Among the voices condemning these threats are the American Bar Association (ABA) who strongly condemns threats and the sharing of personal information about the grand jurors online.
In a statement, the ABA expressed its support for the Georgia grand jury members, highlighting their civic-minded commitment to upholding democracy. The ABA described it as unconscionable that these individuals, who fulfilled their civic duty as good citizens, should face threats to their safety and have their lives upended.
In cases of high public interest, it is important to protect the integrity of the legal process and ensure the safety of those who participate in it. Threats and intimidation directed at individuals involved in legal proceedings are not only unacceptable but also undermine the principles of justice and the rule of law.