The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office is looking into allegations that grand jurors who decided to prosecute former President Donald J. Trump and 18 others were plotting to change the outcome of the 2020 Georgia election. The indictment is 98 pages long, and unlike in federal or state courts, the jurors’ names are included towards the beginning.
The identities of some of the jurors, including photos, social media accounts, and maybe even physical addresses and phone numbers, have been posted online, with the recommendation that they be harassed. The county sheriff’s office was investigating the source of internet threats against grand jurors. Questions about whether or not any jurors complained of harassment were not addressed.
Trump has been threatened in the past due to other legal proceedings. A judge in Washington is hearing the federal election meddling case against the former president, and last month, a woman from Texas was accused of threatening to assassinate that judge, Tanya S. Chutkan. Georgia’s district attorney, Fani T. Willis, spent two and a half years researching possible criminal activity by Trump and his friends after the 2020 election, and on Monday, she presented her findings to the Fulton County jury.
An indictment was only valid if it was supported by 12 of the 23 jurors.
Some social media users immediately started releasing personal information about the jurors once the indictment was made public late Monday. Many people have shared the names on Truth Social, Trump’s social media site. A user responded to a list of potential jurors by encouraging others to “make sure they can’t walk down the street” by making them “infamous.”
The uncommon practice of releasing the identities of grand jurors in Georgia raises concerns that the jurors may be harassed for their verdicts, particularly in instances involving gangs and organized crime, according to criminologist and lawyer Jon B. Gould of the University of California, Irvine.
It was a priority for federal and state prosecutors in New York to protect the anonymity of grand jury members. The Georgia provision that mandates the revelation of juror names is intended to provide defense attorneys with some transparency into the proceedings by letting them see whether any jurors were improperly seated because, for example, they were not county residents or had prior felony convictions.