Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

The DOJ is investigating dozens of threats against election workers

By 37ci3 Mar26,2024



Federal authorities on Monday said the Justice Department is investigating dozens of threats made to election workers and has charged 20 people so far.

“These are the first responders of a democracy, and we will continue to investigate and prosecute those who threaten to harm them,” U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona Gary Restaino said at a news conference highlighting the latest convictions.

13 of the 20 accused were convicted. Seven of the 10 already convicted received sentences of more than 18 months, “a sign of how seriously the federal courts are taking this behavior,” said John Keller, the DOJ official who oversees the agency’s day-to-day operations. Election Threats Task Force.

“This new era of scapegoating, targeting and attacking the electoral community is dishonest and, in addition to the obvious loss of individual victims, risks depleting the ranks of experienced election officials who are vital to the effective management of our elections,” he said. The task force helps local officials proactively seek, investigate and prosecute threats against election workers, Keller said.

Two of the defendants were convicted in March of making threats against former Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who is now the state’s governor.

Ohio resident Joshua Russell was sentenced Monday to 2.5 years in prison for leaving threatening voicemail messages to Hobbs’ office.

according to federal authorities, Russell told Hobbs in a 2022 audio message that “you have a few short months to see yourself behind bars or we will see you in the grave. You are a traitor to this nation and you will suffer for it [expletive] results.”

James Clark of Massachusetts was convicted in 2021 of making a bomb threat against Hobbs that led to the partial evacuation. Restaino said Clarke then did online searches about the Boston Marathon bombing. He was sentenced to 42 months in prison earlier this month.

Arizona was the epicenter of claims of a stolen election in 2020, fueled by Donald Trump’s narrow loss in the state. Trump has claimed for years that he won the election, even though dozens of lawsuits, investigations and reviews have found no evidence to support his claim.

Most of the threats reviewed by the FBI are not prosecuted, officials said Monday, although they noted that every report is reviewed. According to Restaino, to reach the level of a crime, the communication must have a “serious expression that the speaker intended to commit an act of violence.”



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By 37ci3

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