Trump judge ‘swatted’ in Washington
Police in the US capital announced on Monday that they had received a false report of a shooting at the home of Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is currently overseeing the federal trial of former US President Donald Trump on charges related to the 2020 election.
The Metropolitan Police Department took a call at around 10pm on Sunday and sent officers to Chutkan’s Washington, DC home, a spokesperson told reporters. They quickly established that there had been no shooting.
The incident comes less than a week after anonymous bomb threats were made against officials and government buildings in eight US states – Alaska, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, and Mississippi – all of which turned out to be unfounded.
Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday called the threats “deeply disturbing,” unacceptable, and threatening “the fabric of our democracy,” according to AP.
Chutkan was appointed to the bench in 2014 by President Barack Obama. She is overseeing special counsel Jack Smith’s prosecution of Trump on federal charges of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election. Trump has denounced the case as a politically motivated attempt to block him from the 2024 election.
The judge is just the latest prominent US official to be targeted by fraudulent police reports, known as ‘swatting’ after the SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) teams, a heavily armed police unit used for high-risk situations. In a number of instances over the years, their practice of shooting first and asking questions later has resulted in deaths of innocents.
One such false police report sent officers to the Long Island home of billionaire currency speculator George Soros on New Year’s Eve. A week prior, on Christmas, two Republican members of Congress – one in New York, another in Georgia – were ‘swatted’ as well.
Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia has fumed about what she said was the FBI’s inadequate response to the harassment.
“The FBI can do so many things, has even abused FISA to spy on hundreds of thousands of Americans, but cannot figure out who wants me killed by a hail of bullets fired by a SWAT team responding to murder-suicide calls supposedly coming from me,” she told reporters at the end of December. “Thankfully, my local police are far too smart, know me well, and know exactly what these swatting calls are.”