An Alabama Trump supporter has been indicted on federal charges for making threats against Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis and Sheriff Patrick Labat. Arthur Ray Hanson II of Huntsville, Alabama, is charged with transmitting interstate threats in phone calls he made in August as Willis prepared to indict Donald Trump.
Trump, meanwhile, continues to spew exactly the kind of rhetoric that could inspire his fans to threaten prosecutors, law enforcement officials, judges, and witnesses. On Sunday evening, Judge Tanya Chutkan, the judge in Trump’s federal election interference case, reinstated a gag order against Trump in response to his continuing attacks on people involved in the case. Trump has been fined twice for violating a limited gag order in his New York civil fraud trial. The charges against Hanson for threats to Willis and Labat once again show the stakes.
In Hanson’s message for the District Attorney, he made statements that included: “watch it when you’re going to the car at night, when you’re going into your house, watch everywhere that you’re going;” “I would be very afraid if I were you because you can’t be around people all the time that are going to protect you;” “there’s gonna be moments when you’re gonna be vulnerable;” “when you charge Trump on that fourth indictment, anytime you’re alone, be looking over your shoulder;” and “what you put out there, [expletive], comes back at you ten times harder, and don’t ever forget it.”
In his threats against Labat, Hanson was particularly enraged at the thought of a mugshot of Trump. “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,” he said, and, “if you take a mugshot of the President and you’re the reason it happened, some bad [expletive]’s gonna happen to you.” More generally, “you gonna get [expletive]ed up you keep [expletive]ing with my President.”
Then Trump turned around and put the mugshot on a $34 campaign T-shirt.
This isn’t the first time Trump has inspired threats against officials involved in his various criminal investigations and indictments. In August, a Texas woman was charged with threatening to kill Chutkan and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. In 2022, following the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security issued a joint bulletin warning of a surge in threats against law enforcement.