UPDATE: Aug. 17, 5 p.m. ET — The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday it is investigating the threats against members of the grand jury that indicted former President Donald Trump. The office said in a statement that it takes the matter “very seriously” and is coordinating with local, state and federal agencies to track the posts.
A woman in Texas was arrested Wednesday after she allegedly threatened to kill the federal judge overseeing an election interference case against former President Donald Trump. The news came just hours after media outlets reported that the purported names and addresses of grand jurors in the Georgia vote tampering indictment had been shared on far-right message boards.
The episodes reflect the charged political divide over the legal whirlwind surrounding Trump and growing concerns about the safety of those involved in prosecuting him. Trump has regularly lambasted special counsel Jack Smith as “deranged” and attacked the judges assigned to his cases. In a message posted on his Truth Social platform earlier this month, he warned: “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!”
Prosecutors said Wednesday that authorities had arrested Abigail Jo Shry, 43, of Alvin, Texas, for allegedly calling the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., where U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan has chambers. The judge is overseeing Trump’s federal indictment related to his efforts to remain in power, including the events surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
According to court documents, Shry left a threatening message on Aug. 5, calling the judge a “stupid slave” and saying Chutkan would be “targeted personally, publicly, your family, all of it.” The call was made two days after Trump was arraigned in the Jan. 6 case.
“You are in our sights, we want to kill you,” Shry allegedly said in a voice message. “If Trump doesn’t get elected in 2024, we are coming to kill you.”
Shry also threatened to kill Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), who, like Chutkan, is Black.
Shry admitted to investigators that she left the message but said she didn’t plan to travel to Washington. She has been jailed in Texas after the court noted she had been charged four times over the past year in similar cases.
Media outlets also reported that on the same day, the purported names and addresses of the grand jurors who indicted Trump in Fulton County, Georgia, this week had been posted on a fringe website alongside threats of intimidation and violence. Unlike in many other states, Georgia publicizes the names of jurors in an attempt to keep criminal proceedings transparent.
The full list of those grand jurors was included on the 98-page indictment released late Monday. Media Matters for America noted that users on the message board had posted a list of the names, calling it a “hit list,” while another wrote that they should be followed and photographed.
Trump was indicted in Georgia on state racketeering charges alongside 18 other defendants. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has charged the former president with being part of a vast criminal conspiracy to overturn the 2020 presidential results in the state as part of a broader effort to keep him in power despite his loss to Joe Biden.