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A Jan. 6 Judge Was Targeted in a SWAT Hoax. He Likely Won’t Be the Last

  • ‘Swatting’ call sent police to judge’s home before hearing
  • Judiciary has backed bill to scrub personal information online
Judge Emmet G. Sullivan
Judge Emmet G. SullivanPhotographer: Dominic Bracco II/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Shortly before midnight on July 21, police arrived at the home of a federal judge set to preside the next day over a plea hearing in Washington in a high-profile Jan. 6 prosecution.

In what law enforcement later described as a “swatting” incident, an unknown person had placed a call to an emergency services line pretending to be US District Judge Emmet Sullivan. The caller claimed a violent situation was unfolding at the judge’s home. Local police responded to the scene.