Prosecutors unseal charges against Michigan man for threatening FBI director and California congressman
Prosecutors unsealed a criminal complaint against a Michigan man on Tuesday accused of threatening to kill a California congressman and FBI Director Christopher Wray, adding to the spate of recent alleged criminal threats against lawmakers.
According to court documents, Neil Matthew Walter made several threatening statements online and in a voice message to lawmakers and law enforcement officials. He is charged with transmitting an interstate threat to injure someone.
It is not clear from court documents whether Walter has been arrested, and a lawyer for Walter is not listed on the public docket.
On November 4, the United States Capitol Police were made aware of threatening voicemail messages allegedly left by Walter on Democratic Rep. John Garamendi’s DC office voicemail, according to court documents.
“John. Hey John. You’re gonna die John. You’re gonna die,” Walter allegedly said in the recording.
In comments posted on a live stream of FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony before Congress last week, Walter allegedly wrote, “I will kill you director Wray you will die I will kill you in self-defense,” according to the document.
“I thank Capitol Police and FBI for quickly addressing this threat,” Garamendi said in a statement on Tuesday.
In recent months, several members of Congress and their families have received threats and some have been physically attacked, including the brutal assault of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, last month.
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security have also warned about threats against law enforcement, and this summer a man in Cincinnati was killed after allegedly attempting to break into an FBI field office with what federal law enforcement believed was a nail gun and AR-15.
A local police officer performed a wellness check on Walter after law enforcement became aware of the threats, according to court documents. During the encounter, Walter allegedly refused to put down a handgun, said he would “defend himself against the U.S. government,” and went on a prolonged rant about “kids being raped, a lawsuit with Putin, and how he is calling everyone all the time, but no one is doing anything about the kids.”
Facebook posts on Walter’s accounts cited in the affidavit contained similar rants about danger to children, including beliefs that a child slave ring was being held in the US Capitol.
Both of Walter’s parents told law enforcement that he has struggled with his mental health over the past few years, and has been in and out of mental health institutions, according to court documents.
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