A self-evident fan of former President Donald Trump has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for making online death threats against various individuals in Georgia amid the outrage in Trump’s circles about the state’s presidential election results from 2020, when Joe Biden narrowly carried the state. Trump and various associates of his spread numerous, documented lies about the election process that had transpired.
The defendant, a Texas man named Chad Stark, posted online to try and gin up support for his ambitions towards the deaths of the targeted individuals. “Georgia Patriots it’s time for us to take back our state from these Lawless treasonous traitors,” he wrote on the online marketplace known as Craigslist. Though the Justice Department has not identified by name in press releases the individual officials and any other figures who Stark named in the original post, it contextually appears he may have been targeting even Ruby Freeman and/or Shaye Moss, the mother and daughter who were election workers in 2020 in Georgia’s Fulton County and became the subjects of consistently debunked conspiracy theories alleging widespread fraud.
“Stark threatened Georgia statewide elected officials and a volunteer county election worker. Those threats were equally harmful, and his conduct put our democracy in jeopardy,” Ryan K. Buchanan, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, said in prepared remarks. Stark pleaded guilty before sentencing.
The case against Stark was under the self-describing Election Threats Task Force at the Justice Department, which remains active. The initiative was announced by Attorney General Merrick Garland himself. Donald Trump himself has in some estimations helped foster threats of the very sort focused upon by this task force, having continued to reference conspiracy theories about Freeman and Moss, for instance, long after leaving office. He also continues promoting the broader, similarly debunked notion of systematic fraud in the 2020 presidential election — a false claim from which he’s never walked back.