Monday, March 4, 2024

Prosecutors in Atlanta will ask a judge on Tuesday to revoke the bond of Harrison Floyd, who was indicted along with former President Donald J. Trump in the Georgia election interference case. The district attorney overseeing the case filed a motion last week accusing Mr. Floyd of intimidating potential witnesses through his social media posts.

Mr. Floyd’s lawyers argued in a new filing that the posts were not intimidating. Moreover, they noted that Mr. Trump himself had issued provocative social media posts about the case, and that no action had been taken against him. That, they said, makes “the state’s decision to go after Harrison Floyd hard to justify.”

The two sides are scheduled to argue the matter before the presiding judge, Scott McAfee of Fulton County Superior Court, on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr. Floyd, formerly the head of a group called Black Voices for Trump, was paid by the 2020 Trump campaign, and is one of 19 people, including the former president, who were named as defendants in a 97-page racketeering indictment in August. The indictment charges Mr. Trump and his co-defendants with orchestrating a “criminal enterprise” to reverse the results of the 2020 election in Georgia. Four of the defendants have pleaded guilty and have promised to cooperate with prosecutors.

In addition to a state racketeering charge, Mr. Floyd faces two other felony counts in the case, for his role in what the indictment describes as a scheme to intimidate Ruby Freeman, a Fulton County elections worker, and pressure her to falsely claim that she had committed electoral fraud.

In her motion last week, Fani T. Willis, the Fulton County district attorney, said that Mr. Floyd had been directing hostile social media posts toward Ms. Freeman and toward Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, among others, “in an effort to intimidate co-defendants and witnesses.”

In one example cited in the motion, Mr. Floyd suggested that Jenna Ellis, a co-defendant who pleaded guilty last month, had lied in a subsequent statement to prosecutors, calling her “a whole mess.”

“Does this sound like Ruby Freeman is being PRESSURED?” he wrote in another recent post, with an audio clip of Ms. Freeman that was recorded on a police body camera in 2020.

Mr. Floyd’s lawyers called the effort to revoke his bond “a retaliatory measure,” in part because Mr. Floyd recently turned down a plea agreement offered by the state. They also argued in their filing that directing comments at another user on X, or “tagging” them in a post, was no different from yelling “a message to someone else sitting on the opposite side of a packed Mercedes-Benz stadium during the middle of an Atlanta Falcons football game.”

A ruling against Mr. Floyd could have repercussions for Mr. Trump, who is enmeshed in battles over gag orders in other civil and criminal cases against him. Mr. Trump’s bond agreement in Georgia specifies that he “shall perform no act,” including social media posts, “to intimidate any person known to him or her to be a co-defendant or witness in this case or to otherwise obstruct the administration of justice.”

In their filing, Mr. Floyd’s lawyers pointed to a few of Mr. Trump’s postings on Truth Social. One was made shortly after another co-defendant, the lawyer Sidney Powell, struck a plea agreement.

Mr. Trump wrote in the post that Ms. Powell was “was one of millions and millions of people who thought, and in ever increasing numbers still think, correctly, that the 2020 Presidential Election was RIGGED & STOLLEN.” He also wrote that Ms. Powell “WAS NOT MY ATTORNEY, AND NEVER WAS,” contradicting one of his own social media posts from 2020.

Last week, federal prosecutors asked an appeals court in Washington to approve a gag order imposed on Mr. Trump in his federal election interference case, saying that his “long history” of targeting adversaries on social media often led to dangers in the real world.

The gag order was suspended this month by the appeals court as it considered whether the trial judge presiding over the case, Tanya S. Chutkan, had been justified in imposing it.

Last month, the judge presiding over Mr. Trump’s civil fraud trial in New York fined him $10,000 for violating a gag order in that case, after the former president made comments to reporters that the judge found constituted an attack on a court employee.

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