A federal grand jury indicted an Alabama man for allegedly threatening the sheriff and district attorney in Fulton County, Ga., over their involvement in former President Trump’s criminal case.
The indictment, unsealed Monday, charges Arthur Ray Hanson II, 59, with two counts of transmitting interstate threats. Prosecutors say he left voicemails on Aug. 6 threatening the officials.
The alleged calls came days before Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) indicted Trump and 18 others in a sprawling racketeering case, accusing them of engaging in a conspiracy to keep Trump in power following the 2020 election. It is one of four criminal indictments Trump faces. He has denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
“When you charge Trump on that fourth indictment, anytime you’re alone, be looking over your shoulder,” Hanson said, according to court filings.
Prosecutors say Hanson made similar threats against Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat in a separate voicemail. Labat in a series of media interviews had raised the possibility that Trump would take a mug shot, including during an appearance on CNN on the day of the alleged voicemails.
“If you think you gonna take a mug shot of my President Donald Trump and it’s gonna be OK, you gonna find out that after you take that mugshot, some bad shit’s probably gonna happen to you,” prosecutors accused Hanson of saying in the voicemail.
He also allegedly said Labat would “get hurt real bad” and Willis should “watch it when you’re going to the car at night.”
Trump was indicted eight days later.
Threats have become a recurring issue in Trump’s array of highly publicized cases.
Trump’s indictment in Georgia has been met with an onslaught of violent and racist comments directed against Willis and other Fulton County officials. The purported addresses of the grand jurors who voted to charge the former president were posted on a right-wing forum.
The judge overseeing Trump’s case granted a motion to keep the identities of trial jurors secret for their protection.
Days after Trump was indicted in D.C., a Texas woman was charged with calling the judge’s chambers and threatening to kill her.
Trump has also been placed under gag orders in two of his cases, in part because of concerns about violent threats against court personnel.
Prosecutors said Hanson made his initial court appearance in Huntsville, Ala., and will be arraigned Nov. 13 in Atlanta. The court’s docket does not yet list an attorney for Hanson.
Each of the two counts carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment.
“Sending interstate threats to physically harm prosecutors and law enforcement officers is a vile act intended to interfere with the administration of justice and intimidate individuals who accept a solemn duty to protect and safeguard the rights of citizens,” U.S. Attorney Ryan Buchanan said in a statement. “When someone threatens to harm public servants for doing their jobs to enforce our criminal laws, it potentially weakens the very foundation of our society.”