A Texas man threatened to kill US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the congressional response to the coronavirus outbreak, saying she and other Democrats “need to be removed at any cost necessary,” federal authorities said.
According to the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas, Gavin Weslee Blake Perry, 27, of Wichita Falls, accused Pelosi on his Facebook page last week of being part of a satanic cult, as well as other Democratic lawmakers who work closely with her
“Dems of the establishment will be removed at any cost necessary and yes that means by death,” Perry wrote in the post, which was still online early Friday.
The ominous post included a link to a story from a pro-life outlet accusing Pelosi of trying to include abortion funding in the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, Perry’s Facebook profile shows.
In another public post earlier in the week, Perry urged people to “use live rounds” and an abbreviation for “shoot on sight” while targeting Democrats, prosecutors said.
Police said Perry told them he does not recognize the authority of the federal government. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted.
“The Department of Justice takes the security of our public servants seriously. Americans are entitled to voice their opinions, but we will not allow them to threaten our officials’ physical safety,” U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said.
“This defendant’s threats against the Speaker and law enforcement agents are wholly inexcusable, and we look forward to bringing him to justice.”
Perry, who made his initial court appearance Thursday, has been charged with transmitting a threatening communication in interstate commerce. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.
Perry admitted that the Facebook account belonged to him, but insisted he was merely trying to warn fellow Americans to be wary of the “tyrannical” government, prosecutors said.
Perry also allegedly told investigators he believed they were violating his First Amendment right to free speech and that he intended to refuse to come to court after being released from jail on bond.