The apparent “bumping” incidents target Jack Smith and referee Tanya Chutkan

Police officers and an emergency response team were dispatched Sunday night to the Washington home of the federal judge overseeing the election meddling case against former President Donald J. Trump, in what appeared to be a “punch” incident, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Police and fire trucks responded to a report that there had been a shooting at the home of Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, who was presiding over the criminal case accusing Mr. Trump of plotting to overturn the 2020 election, the people said. According to an incident report released by the Washington Metropolitan Police Department, which did not name Judge Chutkan, officers were “informed that she was not injured and that no one was in her home” when they arrived at the house around 10pm on Sunday.

The episode at Judge Chutkan’s house came two weeks after special counsel Jack Smith, who brought the subversion charge against Mr. Trump, was the victim of a hit-and-run incident at his home in Maryland, according to a person familiar with the situation. On Christmas, someone called the Montgomery County police and filed a false report that Mr. Smith had shot his wife, the person said. Mr. Smith’s killing was reported earlier by NBC News.

Swatting is the colloquial term for making false reports to the police in order to elicit a threatening or potentially dangerous response from officers. Incidents of beatings have increased in recent years and are used against various politicians and public figures.

. No arrests have yet been made in connection with the incidents, and it is unclear whether they are related to the election interference case. But they were a reminder of the potential threats facing people involved in the various criminal cases against Mr. Trump.

The incident with Judge Chutkan came two days before a crucial appeals court hearing on Mr. Trump’s claim of immunity from prosecution in the case because the charges stem from actions he took while in the White House.

In July 2022, another federal judge in Washington, Emmett G. Sullivan, also had police called to his house in what appeared to be a hit-and-run incident. This episode occurred the night before Judge Sullivan presided over a hearing where Anthime Gionet, a far-right activist nicknamed “Baked Alaska,” was to plead guilty in connection with the Capitol attack.

Both Judge Chutkan and Mr. Smith have faced threats in the past related to their work on Mr. Trump’s criminal case, which is unfolding in Federal District Court in Washington.

In August, just days after Mr. Trump was indicted, a woman left a voicemail for Judge Chutkan, who is black, in her offices in Washington, using a racial slur and threatening to kill her.

“If Trump is not elected in 2024, we are coming to kill you, so tread lightly,” the woman said in the message, adding, “You will be targeted personally, publicly, your family, all of it.”

The message about Judge Chutkan was left just one day after Mr. Trump posted his own threatening, if cryptic, statement on social media. “IF YOU FOLLOW ME, I’M FOLLOWING YOU!” he wrote. (His campaign later said his words were not directed at anyone involved in the election meddling case.)

A Texas woman, Abigail Jo Shri, was eventually arrested and faces prosecution there.

Mr Trump relentlessly went after Mr Smith in social media posts, describing him as a “thug” and as “crazy”. Prosecutors said he had received threats from others, without specifying their nature.

In September, prosecutors cited the threats against Judge Chutkan and Mr. Smith in their request for Judge Chutkan to impose a gag order on the former president. Prosecutors cited several other instances of Mr. Trump verbally attacking people involved in cases he faces, arguing that his remarks online often have real-world consequences.

Judge Chutkan ultimately imposed the gag order, but allowed Mr. Trump to say what he liked about it. A federal appeals court later upheld the order but narrowed its terms to allow Mr. Trump, among other things, to attack Mr. Smith.

Charlie Savage contributed reporting.

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