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.
The grand juror’s purported addresses were spotted by Advance Democracy, Inc., a non-partisan research group founded by Daniel J. Jones, a former FBI investigator and staffer for the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
“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.”
Under Georgia state law, the identities of the jurors are not secret. As a matter of fact, the names of the jurors was printed on page 9 of the indictment.
One post read: “It’s time we do the doxing,” invoking a practice that typically refers to exposing someone to harassment by publishing their personal information online. Another agreed, writing that “People need to be outside these peoples houses.”
Others in the forum sharply disagreed, warning Trump supporters not to be sucked into a potential “false flag” operation because the media would surely pounce on any threats to jurors. “Seriously,” one user wrote. “Imagine if something were to happen to a person on that list by ‘a crazy maga.’”
Several of the jurors disabled their profiles on LinkedIn and Facebook. Others turned off their phones, sending callers straight to voice mail. One juror answered a call from The Washington Post and said “No comment” before hanging up. A son of one juror reached by The Post said he would pass along the request to speak with his father, but he added it was unlikely that the man would engage with news media because of security concerns.
On a message board that has been the home of “Q,” the central figure of the QAnon conspiracy theory, a user posted the names of the jurors alongside their supposed addresses (Media Matters has blurred the supposed doxxing to protect the jurors, and has chosen to blur and remove other material posted by message board users). And on another message board, where the QAnon conspiracy theory initially emerged, a user seemed to threaten to “follow these people home and photograph their faces.”
Other users on the message boards also issued direct threats against the jurors. One user wrote that the grand jurors’ names was a “hit list” to which another user responded, “Based. Godspeed anons, you have all the long range rifles in the world,” while another wrote that they were “about ready to go Turner Diaries on these treasonous n***** fucks” (referring to a violent white nationalist book). And another user ominously wrote that the jurors were “committing election interference” and so they “should indeed be careful.”
Additionally, message board users tried to dig into the jurors’ online presences and backgrounds, posting images of jurors’ supposed Facebook and LinkedIn pages as evidence that they were biased against Trump and posting a link to their supposed political contributions pages from the Federal Election Commission. (According to The Washington Post, “several of the jurors disabled their profiles on LinkedIn and Facebook.“) Users also tried to determine the ethnic and religious backgrounds of the jurors.