Georgia juror info circulates online after Donald Trump indictment
Names, pictures and even home addresses of Georgia grand jurors who indicted Donald Trump are circulating online as authorities are rushing to identify the origin of the leak.
For example, a user of a fringe social media site posted purported names, rough ages and addresses of jurors Wednesday, according to the group Advance Democracy. A verified user on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, posted pictures of three jurors Tuesday, according to the group.
An anonymous user called the list of jurors’ names “a hit list,” according to the group Media Matters for America.
“These jurors have signed their death warrant by falsely indicting President Trump,” said one message on the fringe site.
The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement saying it was working with local and federal authorities to identify the origin of threats against jurors.
“We take this matter very seriously and are coordinating with our law enforcement partners to respond quickly to any credible threat and ensure the safety of those individuals who carried out their civic duty,” the statement said.
“It’s becoming all too common place to see everyday citizens performing necessary functions for our democracy being targeted with violent threats by Trump-supporting extremists,” said Daniel J. Jones, president of Advance Democracy, a non-profit organization that conducts public-interest investigations. “The lack of political leadership on the right to denounce these threats − which serve to inspire real-world political violence − is shameful.”
Trump was indicted Monday on racketeering and other charges for trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
In contrast to anonymous federal grand jurors, Georgia includes the names of grand jurors with no other personal identifying information in its indictments.
The disclosure of the names allows internet users to partake in a practice known as doxing. This form of online harassment consists of aggregating information taken from public databases, social media profiles and disclosing previously private information.
“That was one of the things that really concerned me, the prospect of the Georgia indictment coming down,” said Amy Lee Copeland, former federal prosecutor in Georgia and now a criminal defense lawyer in Savannah, Ga. “I understand there are online threats against these people. I feel really terrible for these people who are doing their civic duty.”
Federal rules prohibited the release of grand juror names. Copeland said lawyers are instructed not to leave grand jury information with clients in jail and jurors’ names aren’t included.
“Justice is swift if you release grand jury information,” Copeland said of federal cases.
Social media messages about the jurors were posted on sites including X, Facebook, Truth Social and TikTok, with addresses posted on a fringe site. A thread of comments on 4chan discussed the race of jurors based on their names. A thread of comments on 4plebs discussed potential threats against jurors.
Authorities set up barricades around the courthouse for potential protests associated with the indictment, but the day passed quietly.