SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP/CBS13) — Law enforcement officials are investigating escalating threats of death and violence against California Gov. Gavin Newsom, his family and the wineries, shops and other businesses he founded.

A voicemail and emails provided to the Sacramento Bee contained graphic abusive language about Newsom, violent sexual threats against his wife and a reference to his children. The newspaper said one communication included a threat to burn down one of the wineries owned by PlumpJack Group, the hospitality company Newsom founded in 1992, with patrons inside.

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Brian Ferguson, a spokesman for Newsom’s Office of Emergency Services, said in a statement to CBS13:

“While we do [not] provide details on matters related to the safety & security of our elected officials, I can share that any threats against elected officials, including public or private property, are taken seriously and closely monitored by the appropriate local, state or federal law enforcement.”

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The Democratic governor is the subject of a recall effort pushed by political foes angered over his aggressive approach to the coronavirus outbreak. Newsom received wide praise when he issued the nation’s first statewide stay-at-home order last spring, but there has been growing public unrest over subsequent health orders that closed schools and businesses, and investigations continue into a massive unemployment benefits fraud scandal.

False rumors spread online that Newsom has given coronavirus aid money to his own businesses. In fact, PlumpJack Group received about $2.8 million in loans through the Paycheck Protection Program administered by the federal government, not California.

Newsom placed all of his businesses in a blind trust when he took office to reduce potential conflicts of interest. The trust legally bars him from being involved in the businesses’ day-to-day operations or participating in buy-and-sell decisions.

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