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Texas man arrested for making election-related threats to govt officials: DOJ

January 22, 2022
US Attorney General Merrick Garland said in this regard that the Justice 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.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland said in this regard that the Justice 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.

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that a Texas man was arrested Friday for “allegedly sending threatening election-related communications to government officials” in January 2021.

The DOJ said in a statement that Chad Stark, 54, was arrested Friday morning “in a law enforcement operation carried out by the FBI.” Stark is charged with one count of communicating interstate threats” and if convicted, he faces “a maximum penalty of five years in prison.”

US Attorney General Merrick Garland said in this regard that the Justice 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.

For his part, FBI Director Christopher Wray said, “Election workers striving to protect our right to a fair and democratic process deserve nothing less than the utmost safety and assurance they can accomplish their roles without interference.”

“The FBI will continue to focus on our mission of protecting these individuals and the important work they do, as well as every American’s right to vote,” he stressed.

This is the first criminal case brought by the Justice Department’s Election Threats Task Force that was launched in late June 2021 “to address threats of violence against election workers, and to ensure that all election workers .. are able to do their jobs free from threats and intimidation.”

The Justice Department said Stark was held over death threats he allegedly made targeting election and government officials in Georgia. Stark, identified in the indictment as a resident of Leander, Texas, allegedly posted threatening messages on Craigslist.

“Georgia Patriots it’s time to kill [Official A] the Chinese agent — $10,000,” one of Stark’s posts allegedly read.

“It’s time to invoke our Second Amendment right 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...

“If we want our country back we have to exterminate these people... we need to pay a visit to [Official C] and her family as well and put a bullet her behind the ears,” an indictment quoted him as saying.

It’s not immediately clear who the state officials were that prosecutors say Stark identified as his targets.

The Justice Department of late has faced growing criticism for not acting more aggressively against a record wave of reported threats against elections officials and lawmakers in the wake of the 2020 election.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite from the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and FBI Assistant Director Luis Quesada talked with reporters about the indictment.

Polite said that since the launch of the task force last summer investigators have reviewed more than 850 reports of threats to election officials and are “doggedly pursuing investigated leads” in “dozens” of open criminal investigations out of those referrals. He was unable to provide a more exact count on the number of open investigations the task force currently has. — Agencies


January 22, 2022
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