FBI Investigating Threats Against Georgia Election Officials

Topline

The Federal Bureau Of Investigation and Georgia law enforcement are looking into threats against Georgia’s top election officials, Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs announced Sunday, as election workers across the country complain President Trump’s baseless voter fraud accusations are putting them at risk. 

Key Facts

The FBI and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) are investigating threats against Secretary of State Brad Raffesnperger and his team, Fuchs said Sunday, though he did not specify the exact threats and did not immediately respond to Forbes’ request for comment. 

On Saturday, Georgia’s voting system manager Gabriel Sterling wrote on Twitter that he’s been the subject of “multiple attempted” email hacks, and has police protection around his home.

“So this is fun,” he wrote sarcastically, adding: “But all is well … following the law, following the process … doing our jobs.” 

Trump has repeatedly lambasted the officials who oversee elections in Georgia, including Gov. Brian Kemp and fellow Republican Raffensperger, on Twitter, accusing them of failing to uncover widespread voter fraud that he insists turned the state in the Democrats’ favor for the first time since 1992.

Despite a lack of evidence to support these claims, less than a week after the election, two of Georgia’s Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue called on Raffensperger to resign.

Raffenspberg has continued to insist that Georgia’s vote tally was free of corruption, certifying Biden’s win along with Gov. Kemp on Friday after a week-long audit and recount by hand.

Crucial Quote 

“The truth is that the people of Georgia—and across the country—should not have any remaining doubts about who was elected governor two years ago or who won the presidential election earlier this month,” wrote Raffensperger in a Saturday Washington Post Op-Ed. “The presidential outcome was remarkably close, but the new paper-ballot system, the strong election security and integrity mechanisms in place, and the audit and hand recount should combine to put to rest any doubts about the final outcome.”

What To Watch For 

As the recount found the margin between Trump and Biden to be less than 0.5%, Trump has requested a second recount, which is expected to begin next week. 

Key Background 

Georgia election officials are not alone in reporting threats against their safety due to election fraud claims. While votes were still being tallied in battleground states, local officials said Trump’s false insistence that Democrats were trying to “steal” the election resulted in “harassing” and “threatening” phone calls, as well as heated rallies outside vote counting centers where pro-Trump protesters—some armed—called to stop the vote. Last week, Arizona’s Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said the president’s claims had caused “ongoing and escalating” threats against her family and her staff. A user of Parler, a social media app that’s become popular among conservatives since the election, threatened to burn down Hobbs’ house and kill her family to “teach these fraudsters a lesson,” Hobbs told local news outlet 12 News, prompting an investigation into the incident by Arizona law enforcement. Hobbs’ home address and her son’s cell phone number were also posted online and a group of people gathered around her home, chanting, “We are watching you,” according to 12 News.

Chief Critic

“These actions are utterly abhorrent, especially when directed at my family and staff,” said Hobbs in a statement. “They are a symptom of a deeper problem in our state and country—the consistent and systematic undermining of trust in each other and our democratic process.” 

Further Reading 

“Trump requests Georgia recount; FBI, GBI investigate threats” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

“Brad Raffensperger: Georgia’s election results are sound” (The Washington Post)

“Trump Requests Second Recount Of Election Results In Georgia” (Forbes)

“Amid ‘Escalating’ Violent Threats Arizona’s Top Election Official Urges Trump To Halt Misinformation” (Forbes)

“Safety Concerns Grow In Michigan, Arizona And Nevada—‘Threatening’ Calls, Gun-Carrying Protesters—Amid Trump Voting Attacks” (Forbes)

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