Threatening Email Purported To Be From Proud Boys Tells Florida Democrats To Vote Trump ‘Or Else!’

Threatening Email Purported To Be From Proud Boys Tells Florida Democrats To Vote Trump ‘Or Else!’


Some registered Democrats in Florida received a threatening email Tuesday with the subject line “Vote for Trump or else!” from an email address that appears to be associated with the violent, right-wing “Proud Boys” group, in what local officials believe is an attempt at voter intimidation that the FBI is now investigating.

Portland, Oregon on the eve of the 2src2src Presidential elections

Members of the Proud Boys, a gang that supports President Trump, hold a rally on Sept. 26, 2020 in … [+] Delta Park on the edge of Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

Corbis via Getty Images

Key Facts

The email told voters to cast their ballot for President Donald Trump or “we will come after you,” telling voters that they were in possession of “all of their information” and that “I would take this seriously if I were you.”

The email came from “[email protected],” which appeared to have in the past been affiliated with the Proud Boys group, according to Florida Today.

WUFT reported that control of the email address, which was created in March of 2017, was changed Monday night and the associated website was offline as of Tuesday afternoon.

The FBI is now investigating the emails as potential voter intimidation, a federal offense that could come with a prison sentence of up to one year.

Crucial Quote

“You will vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you,” the email read. “Change your party affiliation to Republican to let us know you received our message and will comply. We will know which candidate you voted for. I would take this seriously if I were you.”

Chief Critic

The Proud Boys’ Seattle Chapter, which is officially affiliated with the group, denied that the Proud Boys were behind the emails, calling them a “false flag operation and a larp being carried out by someone who is soon to be exposed.”

What We Don’t Know

It’s not clear how many Floridians received the emails Tuesday, but they seemed to be solely sent to registered Democrats. Voters in at least two of the state’s largest counties, Brevard and Alachua, received the emails, according to local media reports.

Key Background

The Proud Boys have gained widespread media attention since the first presidential debate, when moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump if he would denounce white supremacists and militia groups. Trump responded, “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.”

What To watch For

Florida, with 29 electoral votes, could be pivotal in the presidential election. Polls show Trump and Democrat Joe Biden are neck and neck in the state, which Trump won by just over one percentage point in 2016.

Further Reading

Threatening emails telling voters to vote for Trump target Brevard County residents (Florida Today)

FBI Investigating Threatening Emails Sent To Democrats In Florida (WUFT)

‘Proud Boys’ Emails Threatening Florida Voters Appear to Use Spoofed Email Address (Vice)

‘Stand Back And Stand By’: Trump Doesn’t Condemn White Supremacists, But Gives Shoutout To Right-Wing Proud Boys (Forbes)

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