adrian fontes
SOS Fontes Complains DOJ Not Treating Election Threats As Domestic Terrorism

January 24, 2024

By Corinne Murdock |

Secretary of State Adrian Fontes wants the Department of Justice (DOJ) to crack down more aggressively on threats to election officials.

Fontes revealed his dissatisfaction with the Biden administration in an exclusive interview with The Rolling Stone. He said that prosecutors ought to hit harder and treat the threats as domestic terrorism.

“We’ve got people who are threatening violence or committing acts of violence to achieve a political end,” said Fontes. “How are these people not being treated like terrorists?”

Fontes said that DOJ Attorney General Merrick Garland is endangering Americans because has been “far too cautious” when handling threats against election workers and officials. 

 “I have a lot of respect for the attorney general, but he is not being nearly aggressive enough on this threat, which is imperiling our democracy, and he and the department are not devoting nearly enough resources to it,” said Fontes. “It’s a crying shame when they put the physical health of their agency up against their actual duties to protect people and to protect our democracy.”

The secretary of state further accused the Biden administration of taking election officials for granted, and implied that entities like the DOJ owed election workers for getting them elected.

“They have the capacity to serve with honor because we have changes in administration at the White House, different people doing investigations and oversight in Congress,” said Fontes. “They need to prioritize those folks who administer the democracy that gives them that warm blanket that they serve under.”

According to the DOJ, Fontes and federal agents have engaged at least four times over the past 18 months. DOJ deputy chief John Keller told Rolling Stone that the agency has been aggressive in its response to threats against election workers and officials. 

“The Justice Department will continue to aggressively prosecute cases involving threats to election workers to the fullest extent of the law,” said Keller. “Recent convictions and sentences demonstrate that federal courts and the department are taking threats to the election community extremely seriously, and there will be consequences commensurate with the seriousness of the activity.”

The Biden administration launched the Election Threats Task Force in mid-2021. In 2022, the DOJ announced its investigations into over 100 cases out of over 1,000 complaints reviewed.  

Since the ETTF’s launch, the DOJ has charged four individuals for making threats to Arizona election officials concerning the 2020 election: James Clark, Walter Lee Hoornstra, Mark Rissi, and Joshua Russell. Several major threats made by critics against GOP election audit efforts, however, were overlooked.

Fontes also said that he and other election workers were risking their lives every day due to lies about the recent past elections and the elections system.

“[S]omeone who’s listening to that lie, believing it, is so upset about it that they literally want to go kill you. It’s a very very strange place to be as a civilized society,” said Fontes.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

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