Prosecutors involved in the classified documents case against former president Trump are facing substantial harassment and threats online and elsewhere, according to extremism experts and a government official. At the same time, federal agencies have not observed a general increase in threats against law enforcement in the weeks since Trump was indicted in Florida — a sharp contrast from the surge of violent rhetoric in the days after FBI agents searched the former president’s Florida property last August. The FBI has called threats against law enforcement “reprehensible and dangerous,” and says it is working closely with other law enforcement agencies “to assess and respond to such threats,” reports the Washington Post. Experts in political extremism say organized threats of violence against government institutions are down since the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, in part because people have realized they could face legal consequences.
Still, experts say they frequently observe violent rhetoric targeting people who are blamed for undermining the former president — not just prosecutors in the criminal investigations surrounding Trump but also swing-state election workers refuting false claims of voter fraud. Far-right Trump supporters are posting the names of prosecutors and government workers online and yelling them at demonstrations, threatening them and revealing details about their personal lives. Justice Department officials have responded by trying to keep the names of prosecutors and agents working the Trump cases from becoming public in official documents, congressional hearings and less formal conversations. That’s a tricky task, given that prosecutors’ names are listed in public court filings, and their names and information about witnesses are accessible to Trump as a defendant. The former president has written social media posts directly attacking people involved in investigating him, including special counsel Jack Smith and the New York state judge handling a separate criminal indictment against Trump. Agents involved in the Aug. 8 search, some of whose names became public when an unredacted version of the search warrant began circulating online, also received targeted threats.