After the Justice Department’s Jan. 21 arrest of a Texas man accused of threatening Georgia election officials, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said a federal task force will continue aggressively pursuing people targeting election officials and workers. Win McNamee/Getty Images (File)
A Texas man accused of threatening Georgia election and other government officials Friday became the first arrest by a Justice Department task force charged with investigating the increasing number of threats of violence since the 2020 presidential election.
Chad Christopher Stark, 54, is accused by authorities of posting a Craigslist message on Jan. 5, 2021- the day before the violent breach at Capitol Hill – urging the killing of several Georgia officials in order to regain control of the state and country from “lawless treasonous traitors,” according to the justice department.
The Attorney General’s Office launched the Election Threats Task Force in July, which took Stark into custody for a message that called for an unnamed Georgia official to be shot, before moving to another official local and federal judges and also shooting another official and her family.
Stark was arrested by Election Threats Task Force that launched in July for the Craigslist post.
“The Justice Department has a responsibility not only to protect the right to vote, but also to protect those who administer our voting systems from violence and illegal threats of violence,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland. “The department’s Election Threats Task Force, working with partners across the country, will hold accountable those who violate federal law by using violence or threatening violence to target election workers fulfilling their public duties.”
There is no indication in court documents who the suburban Austin resident was threatening and a spokesman for Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger Friday referred questions to the justice department.
The Republican Raffensperger, his wife and family, as well as other Georgia election workers and officials faced physical threats after Donald Trump and his allies alleged widespread fraud cost him the election by less than 12,000 votes to Joe Biden.
Raffensperger and some of his other election division staff were temporarily relocated from their office inside the state Capitol as a result of the threats.
A few weeks after the 2020 election a Raffensperger deputy delivered a passionate plea condemning Trump and others for failing to speak out against threats against election workers, including a metro Atlanta voting equipment technician who received death threats.
Also, two Fulton County election workers are suing conservative news outlet, The Gateway Pundit, for spreading debunked claims which resulted in them being harassed.
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