Thu. May 30th, 2024

Threats follow vow to come after foes

By Sampad Oct31,2023

A lead prosecutor and a judge involved in separate criminal cases against Donald Trump received violent threats within two days of the former president warning that he was “coming after” his foes, court documents allege.

A federal indictment unsealed Monday in Atlanta charged a man with threatening Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and Sheriff Patrick Labat over their roles in the Georgia criminal election interference case against Trump.

Prosecutors allege Arthur Hanson, 59, of Huntsville, Alabama, delivered the threats in voicemails left for Willis and Labat on Aug. 6.

One day earlier, a Texas woman allegedly delivered a death threat to the chambers of U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is presiding over a separate election conspiracy case against Trump at the federal level in Washington, D.C.

“If Trump doesn’t get elected in 2024, we are coming to kill you,” said Abigail Jo Shry, 43, in an Aug. 5 voicemail, according to an affidavit in a criminal complaint in U.S. District Court in Houston.

Just before both incidents, on the afternoon of Aug. 4, Trump sent a Truth Social post declaring, “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!”

That post, and the threats that shortly followed it, mirror a pattern alleged by Trump’s prosecutors, who say his public attacks on his perceived enemies spur his followers to threaten and harass those same targets.

Special counsel Jack Smith, whose team is prosecuting Trump in Washington, highlighted the Aug. 4 post in a request for Chutkan to issue a protective order in the election case.

Smith cited the same post in a September court filing seeking a gag order against Trump. “The defendant made clear his intent to issue public attacks related to this case when, the day after his arraignment, he posted a threatening message on Truth Social,” Smith wrote.

“And he has made good on his threat,” Smith added, noting that the former president had sent many inflammatory social media posts attacking the judge, the prosecutors, the citizens of Washington and prospective witnesses.

Chutkan in mid-October barred Trump from public statements targeting prosecutors and likely witnesses in the case, as well as members of the court’s staff.

“When Defendant has publicly attacked individuals, including on matters related to this case, those individuals are consequently threatened and harassed,” Chutkan wrote in her decision.

Trump is appealing the gag order ruling. He has pleaded not guilty in all of his criminal cases.

Shry’s alleged threat to Chutkan, who is Black, included multiple racial slurs and a warning that the judge’s family would also be targeted.

Shry, of Alvin, Texas, is also alleged to have made a “direct threat to kill” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, along with Democrats in Washington and members of the LGBTQ community.

Jury selection began Monday in Shry’s trial on one felony count of making interstate threats.

Hanson, who faces two counts of the same charge, will be arraigned in Atlanta on Nov. 13, prosecutors said.

He is accused of leaving voicemails threatening Willis and Labat days before Trump and 18 others were charged with conspiring to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden in Georgia.

Later in August, Trump was booked and had his mug shot taken at Fulton County jail, which was run by Labat. Trump was already facing dozens of felony counts in three other criminal cases by the time he was charged in Georgia.

“When you charge Trump on that fourth indictment, anytime you’re alone, be looking over your shoulder,” Hanson allegedly said in his message for Willis.

In the voicemail to Labat, Hanson allegedly said, “If you think you gonna take a mug shot of my president Donald Trump and it’s gonna be OK, you gonna find out that after you take that mug shot, some bad s— probably gonna happen to you.”

“Whether you got a g—— badge or not ain’t gonna help you none,” he allegedly said. “You gonna get f—– up you keep f—— with my president.” 

By Sampad

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