A judge was hearing arguments Tuesday on the Fulton County district attorney’s request to revoke the bond of Harrison Floyd, one of former President Donald Trump’s 18 co-defendants in the Georgia election interference case, over social media posts that prosecutors said are “intentional and flagrant violations” of his bond conditions.
In a motion last week to revoke Floyd’s bond, District Attorney Fani Willis’ office cited Floyd’s posts on X, formerly known as Twitter, targeting Georgia elections officials such as Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and one of his top officials, Gabriel Sterling, and former election worker Ruby Freeman. Sterling was seen in the courthouse ahead of the hearing with an attorney for Raffensperger’s office.
Floyd, who was wearing a bright green blazer, appeared relaxed as he waited for the hearing to start, drinking a NOS energy drink and reading a book called, “How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius.” Willis was in the courtroom as well and handled the arguments for her office.
“We’re asking that his bond be revoked and he be remanded,” Willis told Judge Scott McAfee at the start of the hearing. She said they plan on calling three witnesses, including Sterling.
The first witness to be called was Michael Hill, an assistant chief in Willis’ office, who testified about the authenticity and content of Floyd’s posts on X, the former Twitter.
In court papers, Willis contended, “Since November 1, 2023, the Defendant has publicly tweeted multiple times from the Twitter account @hw_floyd in an effort to intimidate codefendants and witnesses, to communicate directly and indirectly with codefendants and witnesses, and to otherwise obstruct the administration of justice.”
“As set forth above, since his release from custody, the Defendant has engaged in a pattern of intimidation toward known codefendants and witnesses, direct and indirect communication about the facts of this case to known codefendants and witnesses, and obstruction of the administration of justice in direct violation of this Court’s order,” she continued.
In her filing, Willis cited more than 15 comments by Floyd in a series of posts to X as well as an appearance on a podcast. One of Floyd’s posts that Willis alleged constituted “an act to intimidate known witnesses and direct communication with known witnesses about the facts of the case” read: “Passing this along to @GaSecofState and @GabrielSterling. Should they be more concerned about interfering in elections, perjury before Congress, lying to DA Fani Willis, or all the above?”
Floyd posted the comment earlier this month in response to a user who suggested he “get some decent legal advice before you wind up spending 20 years in prison for someone who could care less about your sorry a**.”
Floyd’s attorneys denied in a filing Monday that his social media posts violated his bond order and said the motion is a “retaliatory measure” against him.
“In exercising his First Amendment rights, Mr. Floyd neither threatened or intimidated anyone and he certainly did not communicate with a witness or co-defendant directly or indirectly. He has no idea who the State’s witnesses even are at this point,” they wrote in the filing. “If this truly were an issue, the State had every opportunity to notify Mr. Floyd or his counsel that his posts on social media were a problem.”
Floyd’s attorneys said he was in plea negotiations just “weeks ago” and that Willis’ office did not mention the social media posts referenced in the motion to revoke his bond.
“All of Mr. Floyd’s posts constitute political speech, the touchstone of First Amendment guarantees,” they wrote. “None of them contain any threat to use force that would make a reasonable person believe the posts were somehow intimidating or unlawful.”
In response to allegations that his tweets about Freeman were an effort to intimidate her, Floyd’s attorneys also argued that Freeman’s testimony is actually helpful for his case.
“It is Mr. Floyd’s position that Ms. Freeman is a valuable defense witness — not a witness favorable to the prosecution. There is not a chance Mr. Floyd would want to intimidate Ms. Freeman,” they wrote.
Floyd’s attorneys also demanded prosecutors show evidence that Freeman has suffered harm as a result of their client’s posts and asked Judge Scott McAfee to reject the motion or include language that would “mirror” former President Donald Trump’s bond order.
Prosecutors in the Georgia election interference case have accused Floyd of involvement in a scheme to pressure Freeman to make false statements. Trump and his allies had falsely accused Freeman of fraud in the 2020 election.
Floyd, the former leader of Black Voices for Trump, was the only defendant in the case who was held in jail after surrendering in August. All of the other defendants, including Trump, were released on bond after they were booked. Floyd was informed during his initial court appearance that he’d remain at the Fulton County Jail because he was considered a potential flight risk.
Floyd negotiated a bond days later. McAfee set Floyd’s bond at $100,000 — with $40,000 on racketeering charges and $30,000 each on a charge of influencing witnesses and a charge of conspiring to commit solicitation of false statements and writings.