U.S. charges woman over threats against judge in Trump documents case

By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Justice Department has charged a Texas woman accused of making threats by phone against the federal judge in Florida who is presiding over the appointment of an independent arbiter to review documents that the FBI seized from former President Donald Trump's Florida home.

In a criminal complaint filed on Sept. 6, an FBI agent said that Tiffani Shea Gish, who lives in the Houston area, left a series of threatening voicemails for U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who is based in Fort Pierce, Florida. Gish faces two criminal charges - influencing a federal official by threat and interstate communications with a threat to kidnap or injure.

Cannon, who was appointed to the bench in 2020 by Trump, ruled last week that she was granting the former president's request over the Justice Department's objections to install a "special master" to review the seized records to weed out possibly privileged materials.

The complaint said that on Sept. 3, Cannon forwarded three separate voicemails from Gish, who referred to herself in some of them as "Evelyn Salt," to the U.S. Marshals Service.

"Donald Trump has been disqualified long ago, and he's marked for assassination. You're helping him, ma'am," one of the voicemails said, according to the complaint.

"He's marked for assassination and so are you," the caller also said, while including an expletive.

After FBI agents identified a cellphone number associated with the voicemails, they interviewed Gish at her home, the complaint stated. The FBI said she admitted to leaving the voicemails and confirmed that the number belonged to her and no one else had access to the cellphone.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Will Dunham)