Man charged with making threats against Georgia officials connected to case against Trump

An Alabama man has been charged with making threatening voicemails to Fulton County officials in Georgia because of their connections to the case against former President Donald Trump.

Arthur Ray Hanson II, 59, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Atlanta last week on felony charges of transmitting interstate threats to injure Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat, according to the US attorney’s office in the northern district of Georgia.

Hanson, from Huntsville, Alabama, called the Fulton County government customer service line twice in August and left voicemails in which he threatened violence against the officials, according to US Attorney Ryan Buchanan.

In part of his message for Willis, Hanson said: “When you charge Trump on that fourth indictment, anytime you’re alone, be looking over your shoulder,” the Justice Department said in a press release.

“Watch it when you’re going to the car at night, when you’re going into the house, watch everywhere that you’re going,” Hanson is accused of telling Willis on the recording.

In his message for Labat, Hanson stated: “If you think you gonna take a mugshot of my President Donald Trump, and it’s gonna be OK, you gonna find out that after you take that mugshot, some bad (expletive’s) probably gonna happen to you,” the Justice Department said.

The case is being investigated by the FBI.

A defense attorney for Hanson is not yet listed on the court docket.

The Fulton County district attorney’s office declined to comment.

Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat, center, speaks to the media June 1, 2021, in Atlanta. - Ben Gray/AP
Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat, center, speaks to the media June 1, 2021, in Atlanta. - Ben Gray/AP

“Threats of harm were directed towards me and District Attorney Willis for simply doing our job,” Labat said in a statement. “I will continue to fulfill the mission of the Sheriff’s Office: ‘Service’ and serve the citizens of Fulton County with the utmost integrity.”

Willis indicted Trump and 18 co-defendants in August on racketeering charges in connection with attempts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election. So far, four of the defendants have pleaded guilty in exchange for agreeing to testify in the case, and the other co-defendants, including Trump, have pleaded not guilty.

In early 2022, Willis asked the FBI for help in providing security for buildings and staff a day after Trump called prosecutors investigating him “racists.” And earlier this year, she sent an email to county staff sharing racist and sexualized messages that she received. She asked the staff to stay “vigilant” for the types of threats they have become “accustomed to” since she launched her investigation in early 2021.

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