Texas man faces federal charges for allegedly threatening Georgia election officials
A Texas man was arrested early Friday and charged with threatening to kill Georgia election officials.
FBI agents arrested Chad Christopher Stark in Leander, Texas, on Friday morning. He was indicted in the Northern District of Georgia on one count of making interstate threats.
The case is the first brought by the Justice Department's election threats task force, which the department set up last summer to counter the growing number of threats nationwide directed at election officials and administrators.
According to the indictment, Stark, 54, allegedly posted a message on Craigslist on Jan. 5, 2021, with the title "Georgia Patriots it's time to kill [Official A] the Chinese agent - $10,000."
In the message, the text of which is included in the indictment, Stark says it's time to take back Georgia from what he calls "Lawless treasonous traitors."
Stark also writes it's time to "put a bullet in the treasonous Chinese [Official A]. Then we work our way down to [Official B] the local and federal corrupt judges."
Stark goes on to say, according to the indictment, that "we need to pay a visit to [Official C] and her family as well and put a bullet her behind the ears."
Attorney General Merrick Garland has repeatedly expressed concern about violence and threats of violence targeting public officials, in particular those who administer elections.
In a statement Friday, Garland said the department "has a responsibility not only to protect the right to vote, but also to protect those who administer our voting systems from violence and illegal threats of violence."
The rise in threats comes amid a broader challenge to democratic elections in the U.S. as former President Trump continues to push false claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election. [Copyright 2022 NPR]