Sep 7, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Willis asks court to protect jurors after doxing in Trump's Georgia case

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaking in Atlanta in August 2023.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaking in Atlanta in August. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis asked a judge on Wednesday to take steps to protect jurors who indicted former President Trump and over a dozen of his allies for their alleged attempts to flip Georgia's election results in 2020.

Why it matters: Willis said at least 23 jurors in the case have had their personal information — including their names, ages, addresses and vehicle details —posted anonymously on "conspiracy theory websites" hosted by a Russian company as part of an effort to "harass and intimidate them."

  • She and other members of her office were also doxed, and their personal information was often "intertwined with derogatory and racist remarks," Willis said in the filing.
  • The information about her included her family members' names, their dates of birth, home and work addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and "GPS coordinates."

The Atlanta Police Department and the Fulton County Sheriff's Office have put in place plans to protect the jurors from harassment and violence, according to the filing.

  • The Department of Homeland Security said in a affidavit in the filing that the Russian company is known "to be uncooperative with law enforcement," meaning the information cannot be removed from public view.

Of note: Some of the information about the jurors was incorrect, but DHS said it could be corrected if the court releases personal details about them.

  • While releasing information about jurors, one user said, " long would it take for Antifa to show up in their front lawns and work places?"
  • Some of the same users that doxed Willis and the jurors have released information about other district attorneys, judges, federal employees and their family members, DHS said.

What they're saying: Willis asked the court to protect jurors by restricting their appearance throughout the case and access to their identities.

  • She said the state fears that Trump and his allies' right to a fair trial will be violated if their identities became widely known to the public, though she acknowledged that the case has received international attention and that the upcoming trial will likely be "highly-publicized."

The big picture: Willis' filing comes just over a week after a judge ruled that all court proceedings in the case will be televised.

  • Willis on Thursday also accused Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chair of the House Judiciary Committee, of interfering with a state criminal case and attempting to punish her for political gain by opening an investigation into her just days after the indictment against Trump and the other defendants was returned, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
  • She said a previous records request from Jordan contained "inaccurate information and misleading statements" and its "obvious purpose is to obstruct a Georgia criminal proceeding."

The latest: Trump told a Fulton County judge on Thursday that he "may" ask to move his trial to federal court.

  • A federal trial would not be televised. Another big difference is that while the jury in Fulton County would be drawn from in and around Atlanta, a Democratic-leaning area, the jury pool would be broader for a federal case.
  • Trump's argument for moving the case to federal court could revolve around the fact that he was a federal official at the time he allegedly committed the crimes in question.

Go deeper: Trump will skip arraignment in Georgia and pleads not guilty to charges

Read the filing:

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