A Texas resident who seemingly supports ex-President Trump has been arrested for making online threats against state officials in January of last year, the day before the riot at the Capitol. That individual, Chad Stark, posted his threats on the online marketplace known as Craigslist, apparently seeking out other individuals to assist him in his mission of seeing the death of certain officials. Stark’s prosecution constitutes the first case to be brought by an Election Threats Task Force that was formed last year at the Justice Department. He’s now charged with one count of communicating interstate threats, which appears to come with a potential sentence of up to five years in jail, if found guilty.
It's wild to reread this December 19, 2020, report, in light of what we just learned about the unsigned executive order that would've in effect amounted to a declaration of martial law https://t.co/UjfVNpaa1f
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 23, 2022
The task force, as summarized by a Justice Department press release, “is leading the department’s efforts to address threats of violence against election workers, and to ensure that all election workers — whether elected, appointed or volunteer — are able to do their jobs free from threats and intimidation.” Attorney General Merrick Garland commented as follows:
‘The Justice Department has a responsibility not only to protect the right to vote, but also to protect those who administer our voting systems from violence and illegal threats of violence. The department’s Election Threats Task Force, working with partners across the country, will hold accountable those who violate federal law by using violence or threatening violence to target election workers fulfilling their public duties.’
"It's becoming clearer and clearer that Donald Trump and his minions orchestrated this at every level for a long time," Rep. Castro says about Jan. 6 as the House committee combs through more than 700 pages of documents from the Trump admin.https://t.co/ysi6FFaeRz
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 23, 2022
Stark’s original message on Craigslist read, in part, as follows: “Georgia Patriots it’s time for us to take back our state from these Lawless treasonous traitors. It’s time to invoke our Second Amendment right it’s time to put a bullet in the treasonous Chinese [Official A]. Then we work our way down to [Official B] the local and federal corrupt judges… One good loyal Patriot deer hunter in camo and a rifle can send a very clear message to these corrupt governors.” Although the Justice Department withheld the identities of Stark’s targets, the reference to “corrupt governors” suggests that the list included Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp, who has been a frequent target of complaints from Trump, who claims that Kemp didn’t do enough to address the supposedly fraudulent presidential election. In theory, “Official B” might be Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), another frequent target of Trump.
It's now been 40 days since the House held Mark Meadows in contempt and referred the case to DOJ, and the Supreme Court last week firmly rejected Trump's executive privilege claims over January 6-related documents. Time for DOJ to make a call.
— Elie Honig (@eliehonig) January 23, 2022
Trump is under criminal investigation in the state of Georgia for his efforts to subvert the election outcome in that state, where Biden won. Just recently, the news came out that Atlanta-area District Attorney Fani Willis, who is leading the investigation, requested approval from local judges for a special grand jury for the case, which would handle matters like subpoenas. Willis’s probe is the only publicly known criminal investigation that includes an examination of Trump’s efforts to undercut the presidential election outcome.
"Trump declared that the country was in mortal danger…He told his followers that…every institution was rigged against them…If these messages weren’t a call for insurrection, what were they?"
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) January 23, 2022