Wednesday, November 30, 2022 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Georgia DA investigating Trump asks FBI for security help

At a weekend rally in Texas, former President Donald Trump called for his supporters to protest against investigations into his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, raising security concerns in an Atlanta prosecutor’s office.

ATLANTA (CN) — The prosecutor investigating whether Donald Trump and others committed crimes by pressuring Georgia election officials to overturn Joe Biden's 2020 election win is seeking help from the FBI out of security concerns after the former president called for protests at a rally over the weekend.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Sunday sent a letter to J.C. Hacker, the head of the bureau’s Atlanta field office, requesting that the FBI conduct a risk assessment of the county courthouse and government center and provide other protective resources such as federal agents and intelligence.

“We must work together to keep the public safe and ensure that we do not have a tragedy in Atlanta similar to what happened at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021,” Willis reportedly wrote in the letter to the FBI.

Willis said security concerns were “escalated” over the weekend as Trump described the inquiry her office is carrying out, as well as those overseen by investigators in New York and a U.S. House of Representatives committee, as “prosecutorial misconduct” during a rally in Conroe, Texas, on Saturday.

“If these radical, vicious, racist prosecutors do anything wrong or illegal, I hope we are going to have in this country the biggest protests we have ever had in Washington, D.C., in New York, in Atlanta and elsewhere because our country and our elections are corrupt,” Trump told his supporters, some of whom carried Confederate flags and banners of guns reading "come and take it."

After Trump's last invoking of protests on Jan. 6 last year at the Capitol – his tweet saying "Be there, will be wild!" preceded a violent and destructive mob storming the seat of Congress – Willis' letter expressed fear that the outcome of her investigation could potentially draw similar chaos to Atlanta's federal offices.

The DA told Hacker that her staff has “already made adjustments to accommodate security concerns” during the course of the investigation and is working with county officials to plan for additional security.

“My staff and I will not be influenced or intimidated by anyone as this investigation moves forward,” the letter states. “I have an obligation to ensure that those who work in and visit the Fulton County Courthouse, the adjoining Fulton County Government Center and surrounding areas are safe.”

During the rally, Trump referred to the investigations into his actions as "fake scandals" manufactured by "radical Democrats." The crowd began booing at his mention of the House's "hoax" investigation into Jan. 6. He went on to blame the press for the investigations with his repeated rhetoric of fake news.

Despite his continuous false claims that the presidential election was rigged by the Democratic Party, Trump has also strongly hinted at running for president again in the 2024 election.

“If I run and I win, we will treat those people from Jan. 6 fairly," Trump said, "and if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons.

Fulton County judges last week granted Willis’ request for a special grand jury set to be impaneled on May 2 “to investigate any and all facts and circumstances relating directly or indirectly to alleged violations of the laws of the state of Georgia” following the 2020 elections, according to Chief Judge Christopher S. Brasher.

The criminal probe was launched last year and is centered on the Jan. 2, 2021, phone call that Trump made to Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which he urged the Republican to “find” the 11,780 votes needed to overcome Biden’s win in the Peach State.

Willis has said the criminal investigation covers potential “solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local governmental bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the election’s administration.”

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.

Loading
Loading...