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District attorney in Georgia election case against Trump and others seeks protections for jurors

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ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia prosecutor who has brought charges accusing former President Donald Trump and others of illegally trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the state is asking the judge in the case to take steps to protect jurors.

The preemptory step by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis comes after the grand jurors who returned the 41-count indictment against Trump and 18 others were subjected to harassment when their information was posted online. It’s a reflection of the highly polarized feelings surrounding the criminal cases against the former president.

Willis wrote in a motion filed Wednesday that the grand jurors’ information was posted “with the intent to harass and intimidate them.” Additionally, the motion said, the personal information of Willis, a Black woman, and that of her family and staff have been posted online ”intertwined with derogatory and racist remarks.”

News cameras are frequently allowed in the courtroom for trial proceedings in Georgia, but video and still photographers are regularly instructed not to show images of the jury. During the jury selection process, the prospective jurors are typically referred to by number rather than by name.

Willis is asking Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee to prohibit defendants, the news media or anyone else from creating or publishing images — including video, photos and drawings — of jurors or prospective jurors. She is also asking that the judge prohibit the publication of any information that would help identify them, “specifically physical descriptions, telephone numbers, addresses, employer names and membership affiliations.”

Legal experts have said it’s standard for indictments in Georgia to include the names of the grand jurors, in part because it provides defendants the opportunity to challenge the composition of the grand jury. So the names of the 23 grand jurors who heard the district attorney’s evidence and voted to approve charges were included on the indictment. They immediately became the victims of “doxxing,” which is short for “dropping dox” or documents, and refers to the online posting of information about someone, generally in an attempt to harass, threaten, shame or exact revenge.

It is “clearly foreseeable” that that would happen to trial jurors if their names were made public, and that could jeopardize their “ability to decide the issues before them impartially and without outside influence,” affecting the defendants’ right to a fair and impartial jury, Willis argued.

Attached to Willis’ motion were sworn statements from Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum and an investigator in Willis’ office.

Schierbaum said that listings of the grand jurors’ information “called for harassment and violence against the grand jurors” and that his department worked with the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement agencies to ensure safety measures were put in place to protect them. Those efforts “require a significant devotion of our capacity and represent a strain on law enforcement resources to allow them to complete their civic duty without being subjected to unnecessary danger.”

Information about Willis and the grand jurors was posted on the dark web, a part of the internet hosted within an encrypted network and accessible only through specialized tools that provide anonymity, district attorney’s investigator Gerald Walsh wrote.

The site where the information was posted is hosted in Russia and is known by federal authorities to be “uncooperative with law enforcement.” Users who post on that site have made similar posts about other prosecutors, judges, federal employees and their families in other states as well, Walsh wrote.

US NATIONAL NEWS

Governors Condemn Terrible Act of Violence

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Washington, D.C. (FNN) – National Governors Association (NGA) Chair Governor Jared Polis of Colorado and Vice Chair Governor Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma issued a statement today condemning the violent attack at yesterday’s rally and expressing their condolences and support:

“On behalf of America’s Governors, we are relieved to hear that President Trump is well following this terrible act of violence. However, we are deeply saddened by the tragic death of an individual and the injuries sustained by two others during the rally. Violence is never acceptable and has no place in our society. Our thoughts and prayers are with the former President, the victims, and their families during this difficult time.

We commend the Secret Service and law enforcement for their swift and effective response in containing the situation and preventing further harm. Their dedication and quick actions undoubtedly saved lives and ensured the safety of many.

This incident is a stark reminder of the need for unity and the importance of standing together against acts of violence. We urge all Americans to reflect on the values of peace and respect that define our nation. It is through understanding and dialogue that we can overcome differences and build a safer, more cohesive society.

We also call for a thorough investigation to understand the motives behind this attack and to ensure justice is served. It is crucial that we address the root causes of such violence to prevent future tragedies.

As leaders, we remain committed to promoting a culture of non-violence and to working tirelessly to protect the safety and well-being of all our citizens. Together, we must reaffirm our commitment to the principles of democracy and the rule of law, which are the cornerstones of our nation.

Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this senseless act, and we stand in solidarity with them as we navigate through this challenging time. Let us honor the victims by coming together and fostering a community where peace and safety prevail.”

#BreakingNews #Governors #ViolenceCondemnation #NGA

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Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro Updates Media on Assassination Attempt on Former President Donald Trump and Victims of Deadly Mass Shooting

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In a press conference, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro provided an update on the assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump during a rally, as well as details on the victims of the tragic mass shooting.

The incident resulted in the death of a spectator and the shooter. Authorities continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the attack.

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US NATIONAL NEWS

Donald Trump Survives Assassination Attempt; Spectator Killed and Shooter Dead

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Butler, Pennsylvania, (FNN) – In a shocking and tragic event, former President Donald Trump claimed he was shot during a rally in what appears to be an assassination attempt. A spectator was killed in the incident, and the shooter has been confirmed dead. Details are still emerging as authorities investigate the situation.

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