Fulton County DA investigating Donald Trump asks FBI for security help
ATLANTA - The prosecutor who’s investigating whether Donald Trump and others broke the law by trying to pressure Georgia officials to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential election victory is asking the FBI for security help after the former president railed against prosecutors investigating him.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Sunday wrote a letter to the FBI office in Atlanta asking for a risk assessment of the county courthouse and government center. She also asked the FBI to provide protective resources, "to include intelligence and federal agents."
Willis last year opened an investigation into any potential attempts to improperly influence the 2020 general election in Georgia by Trump and his associates. A special grand jury is set to be seated May 2 to aid in that investigation and Willis asked the FBI to take the steps she requested well in advance of that date.
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"My staff and I will not be influenced or intimidated by anyone as this investigation moves forward," Willis wrote.
She added that her office has already taken steps to address security concerns "considering the communications we have received from persons unhappy with our commitment to fulfill our duties." She said she’s also working with county officials on the need for extra security measures as the investigation progresses.
"These prosecutors are vicious horrible people, racist and sick, they’re mentally sick," declared former President Donald Trump.
But she said security concerns were "escalated" over the weekend as Trump lashed out at prosecutors looking into his actions, calling them "vicious, horrible people."
"If these radical, vicious, racist prosecutors do anything wrong or illegal, I hope we are going to have in this country the biggest protest we have ever had in Washington, D.C, in New York, in Atlanta and elsewhere," Trump said during the Saturday night rally in Texas.
The former president was on the attack in Conroe, Texas on Saturday, urging his followers to stage the "biggest protests" ever in Atlanta and other cities if prosecutors investigating Trump do anything wrong or illegal.
"It’s really prosecutorial misconduct at the highest level," said Trump.
The call for protests comes just days after the FOX 5 I-Team and others reported that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is impaneling a special grand jury in May to investigate alleged attempts by Trump and others to disrupt the 2020 election.
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The rhetoric is especially alarming, Willis wrote, in light of statements Trump made at the same event saying that if he returns to the White House, he could give pardons to people who stormed the U.S. Capitol last year in an effort to block the certification of Biden’s win.
"We must work together to keep the public safe and ensure that we do not have a tragedy in Atlanta similar to what happened at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021," Willis wrote in the letter to the FBI.
Willis plans to investigate a number of different people and election issues. One issue is a phone call made by Mr. Trump to the Georgia Secretary of State following his election defeat.
"I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have," Trump said during an hour-long conference call on January 2.
The then-President directly urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to throw out what Mr. Trump considered to be fraudulent votes which would give him the electoral victory.
In a statement earlier this month, Trump said his call to Raffensperger was "perfect" and said he did not say anything wrong.
"2020 election was rigged and everybody knows it," Mr. Trump repeated his election fraud claim this past weekend.
Following Mr. Trump's rally, Prosecutor Fani Willis wrote the local head of the FBI citing Trump's "alarming" "rhetoric" which she believes was seen by millions and mirrors his comments made to his followers prior to the January 6th attack on the US Capital.
Willis asked the FBI to provide a security assessment of the Fulton County Courthouse and nearby Government buildings before grand jurors arrive in May.
Former DeKalb County District Attorney Bob Wilson agreed.
Wilson said investigating a former President is historic in Georgia and any prosecutor should prepare for the worst in such a high-profile case. He believes Fani Willis has to do everything she can to protect grand jurors.
"If jurors are afraid to render verdicts that speak the truth for fear something will happen to them, justice will never be done," said Wilson.
Fani Willis letter to the FBI Special Agent in Charge in the Atlanta office also expressed concern that Trump’s call for protests is heightened by the fact that Mr. Trump said he could run for President again, and if he wins, he could possibly pardon the people who attacked the capital.
FOX 5 reached out to the FBI for comment and received this email from a spokesperson:
"The FBI supports our state, local, and federal law enforcement partners with maintaining public safety in the communities we serve. Our efforts are focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity. As we do in the normal course of business, we are gathering information to identify any potential threats and are sharing that information with our partners. If you have any tips on potential threats please visit tips.fbi.gov or call FBI Atlanta at 770-216-3000."
The I-Team did not hear back from anyone from former President Trump’s office.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report