The identities of any jurors in former President Donald Trump’s election interference case in Georgia will be kept secret until the trial ends, a judge ruled Monday.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, who is overseeing the sweeping racketeering case against Trump and his 18 co-defendants, issued the order amid concerns about the safety of prospective jurors.
The former president was indicted by a grand jury in August. Because Georgia law prioritizes transparency in criminal proceedings, that meant that, unlike in many other states, the names of the grand jurors were publicized. Their names were later shared on far-right message boards alongside threats of intimidation and violence.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis had asked the judge for the extra protection over fears for the safety of jurors during what she said is sure to be a “highly publicized trial.”
McAfee ordered all future jurors to be identified only by number in court filings and open court when the trial begins. All parties in the case will be barred from disclosing their identifies, telephone numbers or any identifying employment information, and there will be no videos, photographs or any identifiable images made of them.
The only exception will be the recording of audio when the jury foreperson announces the verdict.
Still, the trial will be notable amid the legal whirlwind surrounding Trump. McAfee said cameras in the courtroom will livestream the hearings and the trial on YouTube, and the footage will be available to broadcast. In addition, members of the media will be allowed to use their computers and phones inside the courtroom.
Willis has said she is the target of regular threats and racist comments. She now travels with a full-time security detail, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.