Another GOP Official Suffers Intimidation Attack

Another GOP Official Suffers Intimidation Attack

( – Georgia Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones became yet another victim in a string of “swatting” attacks on Republican officials across the United States. On December 27, the perpetrators of the attack swatted Jones’ home and issued a bomb threat to his office the next morning.

Swatting, named after police Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams that respond to particularly dangerous situations, involves weaponizing law enforcement against a victim by calling in serious, fake incidents to their address. Swatting attacks have led to civilian deaths in the past and take resources away from actual incidents in need of a law enforcement response.

“I will not be intimidated by those attempting to silence me,” Jones said in a statement. Jones said that he is working with police on the matter and remains confident that those responsible for the incident will face prosecution.

The swatting attack on Jones comes following several other such attacks on Republican officials nationwide. On Christmas Day, U.S. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene was swatted for the eighth time.

U.S. Congressman Brandon Williams was also the victim of a swatting attack on Christmas Day. Williams said that he made sure responding officers left with homemade cookies for their wasted time.

Other recent Republican swatting victims include U.S. Senator Rick Scott and Ohio State Representative Kevin Miller. Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, a Democrat, was also swatted on December 29, after removing former U.S. President Donald Trump from the state’s primary ballots.

A number of states are now imposing significant penalties for swatting attacks after the FBI first labeled the crime a “new phenomenon” in 2008. Although such attacks initially tended to target celebrities, they are increasingly used against political figures. Ohio made swatting a felony offense in 2023, and Virginia increased penalties for the crime in 2023 as well. Greene said that she intends to introduce federal legislation to address swatting.

However, whether the recent spree of swatting attacks will ultimately spur action by Congress remains to be seen.

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