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Secret Service charges man with threat to kidnap and kill Biden and Harris

The Secret Service filed charges against a Maryland man after he threatened to kidnap and kill Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit Protect our world: How the Biden administration can save lives and economies worldwide MORE and vice presidential nominee Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisFive House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet GOP senator: No indication of widespread voting irregularities, window for Trump challenges is 'closing' Biden pledges to work with mayors MORE.

A criminal complaint filed by the agency Wednesday said a man identified as James Dale Reed on Oct. 4 approached a house in his hometown of Frederick that had Biden-Harris lawn signs posted and left a handwritten note detailing graphic threats against the candidates and their supporters.

The man was identified after the resident’s video doorbell captured Reed allegedly leaving the note at the home’s doorstep, according to the complaint. 

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Reed allegedly threatens in the letter to “severely beat” Biden to “the point of death” and shoot Harris in the head with a Glock 17 pistol. The letter also includes a graphic threat of sexual assault against Harris.

The letter says Biden-Harris supporters would also be “targeted.”

“We have a list of homes and addresses by your election signs,” the letter reads, without clarifying who constitutes “we.” “We are the ones with these scary guns, we are the ones your children have nightmares about.” 

The Secret Service’s criminal complaint did not detail any steps Reed or anyone else took to fulfill the alleged threat.

The agency said it focused on Reed following an anonymous tip. He first denied writing the threatening letter when he was first interviewed on Oct. 13, but later admitted to authoring it after providing elimination palm prints and a handwriting sample on Oct. 15. 

He later told authorities “this will happen,” referring to threatening comments, citing the tense political climate.

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Reed is charged with the federal offense of threatening a major candidate, which can be punished by up to five years in prison. He’s also facing state charges of threatening mass violence and voter intimidation. 

The Maryland resident had come to the Secret Service’s attention in 2014 after making a threat then against a person under its protection.

The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.