Alabama Man Indicted for Threatening Fulton County Officials Over Trump Investigation

October 30, 2023
2 mins read
Alabama Man Indicted for Threatening Fulton County Officials Over Trump Investigation

The Gist: Arthur Ray Hanson II, from Huntsville, Alabama, was indicted on October 25 for allegedly making threats against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and Sheriff Patrick Labat. The threats were linked to their roles in the investigation of former President Donald Trump.

🤔 Why It Matters: The indictment underscores the ongoing tension and potential risks faced by public officials involved in politically charged investigations. It also raises concerns about the safety of those tasked with upholding the law.

What’s Happening:

  • Hanson made his initial court appearance in Alabama and will be arraigned in Atlanta on November 13.
  • The threats were specifically aimed at intimidating the officials for their involvement in the Trump investigation.

The Messages:

In his message for the Sheriff, Hanson made statements that included: “if you think you gonna take a mugshot of my President Donald Trump and it’s gonna be ok, you gonna find out that after you take that mugshot, some bad [expletive]’s probably gonna happen to you;” “if you take a mugshot of the President and you’re the reason it happened, some bad [expletive]’s gonna happen to you;” “I’m warning you right now before you [expletive] up your life and get hurt real bad;” “whether you got a [expletive] badge or not ain’t gonna help you none;” and “you gonna get [expletive]ed up you keep [expletive]ing with my President.” 

In Hanson’s message for the District Attorney, he made statements that included: “watch it when you’re going to the car at night, when you’re going into your house, watch everywhere that you’re going;” “I would be very afraid if I were you because you can’t be around people all the time that are going to protect you;” “there’s gonna be moments when you’re gonna be vulnerable;” “when you charge Trump on that fourth indictment, anytime you’re alone, be looking over your shoulder;” and “what you put out there, [expletive], comes back at you ten times harder, and don’t ever forget it.”

🔍 Between the Lines:

  • The threats were made via voicemails left on the Fulton County Government customer services line.
  • U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan said that such threats weaken the foundation of society and the justice system.

🏃 Catch Up Quick:

  • The FBI is investigating the case.
  • Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bret R. Hobson and Brent Alan Gray are prosecuting.

Speaking Out: “Threats against public servants are not only illegal, but also a threat against our democratic process,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta.  “The FBI’s mission is to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution. We take this responsibility very seriously and seek to punish those who engage in this type of criminal behavior, and to send the message that such conduct will not be tolerated.”

🖼️ The Big Picture: This case is evidence of an increase in extremism in the United States since the 2020 election. The indictment serves as a reminder that threats against public officials are, in fact, illegal.

📈 By The Numbers: Since the U.S. Capitol attack on January 6, 2021, there have been 213 identified cases of political violence leading to at least 39 deaths, with notable incidents including politically motivated mass killings. A concerning number of Americans appear open to political violence, with over 1 in 5 expressing some level of acceptance towards such acts to advance their political goals. The trend, escalating since 2016, is largely tied to rising political polarization, with the violence predominantly emerging from right-wing factions, reflecting a deep-rooted division within the nation.

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