For The Record

Texas man charged with threatening to kill Georgia election officials

By: - January 21, 2022 6:18 pm

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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Stanley Dunlap
Stanley Dunlap

Stanley Dunlap has covered government and politics for news outlets in Georgia and Tennessee for the past decade. At The (Macon) Telegraph he told readers about Macon-Bibb County’s challenges implementing its recent consolidation, with a focus on ways the state Legislature determines the fate of local communities. He used open records requests to break a story of a $400 million pension sweetheart deal a county manager steered to a friendly consultant. The Georgia Associated Press Managing Editors named Stanley a finalist for best deadline reporting for his story on the death of Gregg Allman and best beat reporting for explanatory articles on the 2018 Macon-Bibb County budget deliberations. The Tennessee Press Association honored him for his reporting on the disappearance of Holly Bobo, which became a sensational murder case that generated national headlines.

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