ATLANTA — The purported names and addresses of members of the grand jury that indicted Donald Trump and 18 of his co-defendants on state racketeering charges this week have been posted on a fringe website that often features violent rhetoric, NBC News has learned.
NBC News is choosing not to name the website featuring the addresses to avoid further spreading the information.
The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office declined to comment. District Attorney Fani Willis faced racist threats ahead of the return of the indictment, and additional security measures were put in place, with some employees being allowed to work from home.
The grand jurors' purported addresses were spotted by Advance Democracy, a nonpartisan research group founded by Daniel J. Jones, a former FBI investigator and staffer for the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee.
“It’s becoming all too commonplace to see everyday citizens performing necessary functions for our democracy being targeted with violent threats by Trump-supporting extremists," Jones said. "The lack of political leadership on the right to denounce these threats — which serve to inspire real-world political violence — is shameful.”
Advance Democracy also noted that users were posting the names and images of people believed to have been grand jurors on other social media sites. The posts asserted that the jurors had posted on social media in support of Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., former President Barack Obama and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The indictment issued Monday lists the names of the grand jury members but not their addresses or other personal information.
Tuesday — after Trump posted on his social media website that authorities were going "after those that fought to find the RIGGERS!" — Advance Democracy said Trump supporters were "using the term ‘rigger’ in lieu of a racial slur" in posts.
The Fulton County Sheriff's Office, which is handling the surrender of Trump and his co-defendants over the next 10 days, initially declined to comment, but said in a statement Thursday after this article published that they are "aware that personal information of members of the Fulton County Grand Jury is being shared on various platforms."
"As the lead agency, our investigators are working closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to track down the origin of threats in Fulton County and other jurisdictions," a statement fro the sheriff's office said Thursday. "We take this matter very seriously and are coordinating with our law enforcement partners to respond quickly to any credible threat and to ensure the safety of those individuals who carried out their civic duty."
An FBI spokesperson in Atlanta, Tony Thomas, said in a statement that the agency "is aware of threats of violence against Fulton County officials and is working with the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office."
"It is our policy not to discuss details of ongoing investigations," Thomas said in the statement. "However, each and every potential threat brought to our attention is taken seriously. Individuals found responsible for making threats in violation of state and/or federal laws will be prosecuted."
The grand jurors have come under attack in the days since Trump's indictment, the fourth criminal indictment brought against the twice-impeached former president.
“These jurors have signed their death warrant by falsely indicting President Trump," a post on a pro-Trump forum read in response to a post including the names of jurors, which was viewed by NBC News.
Blayne Alexander reported from Atlanta and Reilly from Washington.