Prosecutions for 2018

Lead Charge: 18 USC 871 - Threats against President and successors

Number Year-to-date 23
Percent Change from previous year 130
Percent Change from 5 years ago -17.9
Percent Change from 10 years ago -11.5
Percent Change from 20 years ago -46.5

Table 1: Criminal Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during FY 2018 the government reported 23 new prosecutions for these matters. Those cases had a lead charge of "18 USC 871 - Threats against President and successors". According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 130% over the past fiscal year when the number of prosecutions totaled 10.

The comparisons of the number of defendants charged with offenses are based on case-by-case information obtained by TRAC under the Freedom of Information Act from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (see Table 1).

Compared to five years ago when there were 28, the number of FY 2018 prosecutions of this type is down 17.9 percent. Prosecutions over the past year are lower than they were ten years ago. Overall, the data show that prosecutions of this type are down 11.5 percent from the level of 26 reported in 2008 and down 46.5 percent from the level of 43 reported in 1998.

The long term trend in prosecutions for these matters going back to FY 1998 is shown more clearly in Figure 1. The vertical bars in Figure 1 represent the number of prosecutions of this type recorded each fiscal year. Each presidential administration is distinguished by the color of the bars. To view trends month-by-month rather than year-by-year, see TRAC's monthly report series for the latest data.

Bar chart of shortyear

Figure 1: Criminal Prosecutions over the last 20 years

Leading Program Areas

Cases were classified by prosecutors into more specific types. The single largest number of prosecutions of these matters through September 2018 was for "National Internal Security/Terrorism", accounting for 30.4 percent of prosecutions.

Leading Investigative Agencies

The lead investigative agency for prosecutions through September 2018 was "Homeland Security - Secret Service (formerly Treasury)" accounting for 78.3 percent of prosecutions referred.

As shown in Figure 3, additional agencies with substantial numbers of referrals were: Justice - Federal Bureau of Investigation (13%), "Homeland Security - Other" (8.7%).

Pie chart of proggrplabel

Figure 2: Specific types of prosecutions
Pie chart of agengrp

Figure 3: Prosecutions by Investigative Agency

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

Understandably, there is great variation in the number of prosecutions in each of the nation's ninety-four federal judicial districts. The districts registering the largest number of prosecutions of this type during the first twelve months of FY 2018 are shown in Table 3.

Judicial District Count Rank  
Ga, N 2 1 More
Kansas 2 1 More
Mich, E 2 1 More
Arizona 1 4 More
D. C. 1 4 More
Ill, C 1 4 More
Ind, S 1 4 More
La, M 1 4 More
La, W 1 4 More
N. Y., S 1 4 More
Ohio, N 1 4 More
Oregon 1 4 More
Penn, M 1 4 More
Penn, W 1 4 More
S Car 1 4 More
Tenn, M 1 4 More
Texas, S 1 4 More
Utah 1 4 More
W Virg, N 1 4 More
Wash, E 1 4 More

Table 2: Top 10 districts

  • The Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta), District of Kansas and Eastern District of Michigan (Detroit)—with 2 prosecutions—were the most active through September 2018.

Report Generated: March 21, 2019
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