GBI urges Georgia lawmakers to report threats amid Trump indictment

Credit: John Spink

Credit: John Spink

The director of Georgia’s top law enforcement agency urged state lawmakers to report threats to local and state authorities amid an uptick of suspicious activity surrounding the indictment of former President Donald Trump in Fulton County.

Director Chris Hosey noted the recent “increased threat rhetoric that has been geared toward state and local officials” in a letter to the state’s 236 legislators obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Several legislators have reported they were recently the target of harassing behavior. Among them is state Sen. Jason Esteves, D-Atlanta, who said he’s received strange phone calls and unrequested pizza deliveries.

The level of vitriol has ratcheted up in recent days as some far-right Trump supporters chastise their colleagues after the former president and 18 of his allies were charged with plotting to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election.

State Sen. Colton Moore of Trenton recently called fellow Republicans “buzzard cowards” and “RINOs” for not joining his doomed petition to call a special legislative session to oust Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

Such a move would require a three-fifths majority of both chambers of the Georgia Legislature, meaning it would take Democratic support to pass. State Republican leaders have ruled out the idea, instead urging Willis’ critics to seek other ways to sanction her.

And several of Moore’s GOP colleagues have criticized him for trying to sell a fantasy to pro-Trump media outlets in pursuit of attention and fundraising donations. State Sens. Shelly Echols and Bo Hatchett issued a statement slamming his “false narrative.”

“Colton has spent weeks now ‘calling out’ legislators for ‘not signing his letter’ even though he’s never asked us to sign it, and even though he knows his letter was political grandstanding,” the two Republicans said. “We guess for him, the fundraising opportunity was just too attractive.”

Esteves, meanwhile, said he’s staying vigilant.

“It’s a bit disconcerting that these bad actors are essentially telling me that they have my personal information,” Esteves said. “In 10 years of public service, it’s never happened to this degree. Nevertheless, my work continues.”

Credit: Michael Blackshire/AJC

Credit: Michael Blackshire/AJC