Georgia sheriff probes threats against Trump grand jury

Law enforcement officials are investigating threats related to former U.S. President Donald Trump's election interference investigation in Georgia, after names and addresses of grand jury members were posted online, the Fulton County Sheriff's Office said on Thursday.

"Our investigators are working closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to track down the origin of threats in Fulton County and other jurisdictions," said the Sheriff's Office.

Posts on social media of the purported names and addresses of the Fulton County grand jury were tracked by Advance Democracy, a non-profit research organization whose president, Dan Jones, is a former FBI investigator and staffer for the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The organization also found posts employing violent rhetoric against Fani Willis, the Fulton County district attorney, who oversaw the more-than-two-year investigation of a suspected scheme by Trump and 18 others to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

"Statements by Trump and his allies continue to inspire violent language and threats online," said Jones, adding that "It's critical that the Fulton County Sheriff's Office take this matter seriously."

"Equally important is that political leaders on the right denounce these threats and the statements that inspire them," Jones added.

Fulton County contains Atlanta, Georgia's largest city and the state capital.

This month, following an indictment by U.S. Special Counsel Jack Smith on Republican Trump's efforts to overturn his election defeat to Democrat Joe Biden, Trump lashed out on his Truth Social media site, saying, "IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I'M COMING AFTER YOU!"

The 98-page Georgia indictment on Monday listed 19 defendants and 41 criminal counts in all. Echoing his criticism of the other investigations he faces, Trump has called the indictment a political "witch hunt."

In many U.S. courts, including federal courts, the identities of grand jurors is kept secret. But in Georgia, their names are made public, and were recorded at the bottom of the indictment.

(With input from Reuters)

(Cover: Security outside the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S, August 15, 2023. /CFP)

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