A man who threatened a prosecutor and a sheriff involved in the Georgia investigation into former President Donald J. Trump over election meddling was charged Monday in federal court, US Attorney’s Office he said.
The man, Arthur Ray Hanson II, of Huntsville, Ala., left threatening messages to Fulton County District Attorney Fanny T. Willis and County Sheriff Patrick Labat over their involvement in the Georgia 2020 presidential election case.
According to a federal grand jury indictment in Atlanta, Mr. Hanson called Fulton County government customer service and left threatening voicemail messages for Ms. Willis and Sheriff Labat in early August, days before Mr. Trump and 18 of his associates were indicted in the state.
In a voicemail message for Sheriff Labat, Mr. Hanson threatened the sheriff not to record “my President Donald Trump,” according to the indictment.
“I’m warning you right now,” Mr. Hanson said, adding that Sheriff Labatt could “get seriously hurt.”
Mr. Hanson also left a voicemail message for Ms. Willis in which he threatened her and referred to the Georgia case.
“Be careful when you go to your car at night, when you go to your house, be careful everywhere you go,” Mr. Hanson said, according to court records. “When you impeach Trump on that fourth indictment, whenever you’re alone, look over your shoulder.”
Mr. Hanson faces charges of communicating interstate threats to injure Ms. Willis and Sheriff Labatt. Mr. Hanson will be formally charged on November 13 in the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
It was not clear whether Mr. Hanson had a lawyer. Sheriff Labat and Ms. Willis’ office did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday night.
Ms. Willis investigated whether Mr. Trump and his associates violated Georgia state law after a tape was released in which Mr. Trump called Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, and asked him to find more votes to win Georgia and its Electoral College. . Mr. Trump and 18 associates were indicted in the case in August.
In Fulton County Meeting of the Board of Commissioners in early October, Ms. Willis said she had received more than 150 threats over a period of about two months, some of which came through Fulton County government customer service.
Ms Willis told the meeting that her staff were working to find and investigate threats, “but also to keep me alive, which became a real concern for me.”
“I have to have people who are loyal to me and to whom my life means something,” Ms. Willis said.
It was unclear how much prison time Mr. Hanson could face if convicted.
Keri Farley, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Atlanta field office, which is investigating the case, said in statement on Monday that “threats against civil servants are not only illegal, but also a threat to our democratic process”.
Mr. Hanson’s indictment came a day after a judge in a separate case against Mr. Trump in Federal District Court in Washington reinstated a gag order on the former president, reimposing limits on what he can say about witnesses and prosecutors involved in the case. Mr Trump is also under a gag order in a civil suit in New York.
Ryan K. Buchanan, US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, said ua statement on Monday that the threat against prosecutors and law enforcement officials was “a vile act intended to obstruct the administration of justice and intimidate individuals.”
“When someone threatens to harm public servants as they do their jobs to enforce our criminal laws, it potentially weakens the very foundation of our society,” he said.