New York man charged with threatening to kill Trump
A New York man who allegedly threatened to kill former President Trump during a phone call with U.S. Capitol Police and other authorities has been charged, according to a court document unsealed on Monday.
Thomas Welnicki of Rockaway Beach was charged on Saturday with knowingly and willfully threatening to kill, kidnap and inflict bodily harm upon a former president, authorities said.
A criminal complaint references five days between July 2020 and December 2021 during which Welnicki spoke with authorities regarding Trump.
Welnicki allegedly told Capitol Police during a phone call around July 21, 2020, that if Trump lost the presidential election that November and “refused to step down,” he would “acquire weapons” and “take him down.”
The document does not name Trump directly but notes that “individual-1” served as the U.S. president from Jan. 20, 2017, until Jan. 20, 2021.
Welnicki also allegedly bragged to Capitol Police about how easy it was for him to get a firearm, adding, “I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I will stand up to fascism.”
“I really hope that God takes [Trump] out,” he said at the end of his interview with Capitol Police, according to the criminal complaint.
The court document does provide additional details about the interview with Capitol Police, only noting that it was voluntary.
Welnicki around Jan. 4, 2021, also allegedly called the Secret Service’s Long Island resident office and left two voicemails. In one of the messages, he threatened to kill Trump and 12 other unidentified lawmakers who he believed “backed” the then-president, according to the criminal complaint.
He also mentioned that there was a $350,000 reward out for killing Trump and the other individuals, authorities said.
“Oh yeah that’s a threat, come and arrest me. I will do anything I can to take out [Trump] and his 12 monkeys,” Welnicki said, according to the criminal complaint.
In another instance around Sept. 24, Welnicki reportedly contacted the Secret Service’s New York field office to ask about the agency’s protection of former presidents, including Trump, and their children. He also asked how he could arrange a protest at Trump’s residence on Pearl Harbor Day and mentioned that he had guns and ammunition, officials said.
And Welnicki around Nov. 8 reportedly placed at least two additional calls to the Secret Service’s New York field office in which he identified himself by name and referred to Trump as Hitler and said “I will do everything I can to make sure [Trump] is dead.”
He later admitted to calling the agency’s office during an involuntary interview the next day, according to the criminal complaint.
The last call documented in the criminal complaint was placed around Dec. 2, when authorities say Welnicki asked for information about how he could schedule a protest at Trump’s residence.
“The new Civil War could break out and taking up arms against the government is justified when ballots don’t matter,” Welnicki reportedly said on the call, adding that he previously owned a .22 caliber firearm.
He is scheduled to appear in Brooklyn federal court on Monday, according to CNBC.
The Hill reached out to Trump’s office for comment.
A man who pleaded guilty to threatening Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in text messages the day after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol was sentenced in December to 28 months in prison.
The man, Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr., 53, admitted to one count of interstate communication of threats. He was initially charged with additional counts but prosecutors ultimately dropped them following his guilty plea.
Updated at 12:34 p.m.