A Texas man pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges from U.S. federal prosecutors of threatening to kill election and government officials during a wave of violent rhetoric by believers in Donald Trump’s false claim of voter fraud.
Chad Christopher Stark of Leander, Texas, is accused of posting a Craigslist message on January 5, 2021, that read in part: “Georgia Patriots it’s time to kill … It’s time for us to take back our state from these Lawless treasonous traitors.”
Stark is the first person charged by a new federal task force formed shortly after Reuters published the first in a series of investigative reports that have documented more than 850 threats and menacing messages to U.S. election workers. He appeared in a brief virtual court hearing on Friday in the Northern District of Georgia to enter his not guilty plea. He is currently out on bond pending trial.
— Diana “Magical Antifa Vagina™” Alien Pirate Queen (@PotrzebieSystem) January 21, 2022
The Stark indictment did not identify the victims of his threats, but Reuters previously reported that two of the officials include Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Governor Brian Kemp. Both Raffensperger and Kemp are Republicans who defended the integrity of the Georgia election despite intense pressure from Trump, who in January 2021 called Raffensperger and told him to find enough votes to overturn his loss.
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 4, 2022
Trump continues to falsely claim he lost the November 2020 election due to widespread fraud despite multiple court losses and audits confirming Joe Biden’s victory, but those remarks were negated on Friday by his former VP, Mike Pence, who appeared at the Federalist Society and told the crowd, “Trump is wrong” about his ability overturn the election results.
— Tara Dublin (@taradublinrocks) February 4, 2022
Stark’s case is one of dozens under investigation by federal authorities, Reuters reports. The Justice Department last week unveiled charges against a second man, Las Vegas resident Gjergi Luke Juncal, who they accuse of making threatening phone calls to a state election worker. He has pleaded not guilty, and a trial was tentatively scheduled for the end of March.
The. Georgia. Call.
He. Stated. He. Needed. Georgia. Election. Officials. To. “Find,”. Him. An. Exact. Number. Of. Votes. So. He. Could. Say. He. Won.
We. Knew. &. Saw. &. Heard. All. Of. This. In. Real. Time.
— John Barna (@oneinatree) January 29, 2022