Man arrested after threats to Rep. Jim McDermott: 'I'll kill his family'
FBI agents arrest a California man who called Rep. Jim McDermott's Seattle office in December and left two threatening messages linked to the Democrat's stand on extending the Bush tax cuts.
A Palm Springs, Calif., man was arrested on Wednesday on a federal charge that he threatened to kill Rep. James McDermott (D) of Washington because of the congressman’s stance in last month’s debate over whether to extend the Bush tax cuts.Skip to next paragraph
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FBI agents arrested Charles Turner Habermann for making two late-night cell phone calls to the congressman’s Seattle office Dec. 9. According to an FBI affidavit, Mr. Habermann has a history of contacting elected officials and received a warning from California law enforcement officials in March 2010.
“Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, or George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, if any of them had ever met Jim McDermott, they would all blow his brains out. They’d shoot him in the head,” Mr. Habermann, 32, allegedly said in a recorded voice mail message on Mr. McDermott’s office telephone.
Habermann was arrested four days after a 22-year-old community college dropout shot Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in the head and then kept shooting, killing six people and wounding 13 others in Tucson.
The shooting Saturday unleashed a heated national debate over whether political rhetoric can trigger violence by unstable individuals. It also prompted an examination of how best to protect elected officials.
“You let that [deleted] [deleted] [deleted] know, that if he ever [deleted] around with my money, ever the [deleted] again, I’ll [deleted] kill him, okay,” Habermann said, according to a sworn FBI affidavit on file in federal court.
'I'll kill his family'
“I’ll round them up,” he added. “I’ll kill them. I’ll kill his friends, I’ll kill his family, I will kill everybody he [deleted] knows.”
Ten minutes later, Habermann called back and left another message. Just as in the first call, he began by offering his real name and his telephone number. Then he left a second, similar, message.
Habermann took issue with McDermott’s characterization of the issues in the tax debate. He said Democratic members of Congress were “stealing” money from “the wealthy” and giving it away to “losers.” He said McDermott would never get away with it.