Matt Gaetz hints prosecutor won't press charges against threatening caller for political reasons

Matt Gaetz hints prosecutor won't press charges against threatening caller for political reasons
© Greg Nash

Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzCapitol Police advised Gaetz against holding open events I'm not a Nazi, I'm just a dude: What it's like to be the other Steve King Gaetz cleared by Florida Bar after Cohen tweet probe MORE (R-Fla.), a vocal critic of the leadership of the Justice Department, hinted that a federal prosecutor is not pressing charges against a caller who threatened to kill him because of his criticism.

“I received word late last week that the U.S. attorney’s office ... had reviewed the information and had deemed these messages, and I’m quoting directly, a ‘non-threat.’ It’s obviously a crime, a federal crime, to make these types of threats against any federal official,” Gaetz told Fox News Tuesday evening.

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“I just wonder, is it the fact that I’ve been a critic of some of the senior officials of the FBI that maybe leads to different treatment for the people who threaten me as opposed to the people who actually get arrested who have threatened Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellHickenlooper ends presidential bid Scenes from Iowa State Fair: Surging Warren, Harris draw big crowds Nadler hits gas on impeachment MORE, Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarMaher hits back at Tlaib: Does she 'want to boycott 93 percent of her own party?' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' Trump ramps up attacks on Tlaib MORE, Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibMaher hits back at Tlaib: Does she 'want to boycott 93 percent of her own party?' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' Trump ramps up attacks on Tlaib MORE. Those people actually get arrested, whereas when people threaten conservatives, I hope there’s not a double standard,” he added, referring to three Democratic members of Congress.

The case revolved around a caller who phoned Gaetz’s office threatening to shoot him, citing his support for President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE and saying, “I’m coming after you.”

Gaetz said the decision by the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California to not bring charges could harm representatives’ abilities to serve their districts.

“They’re office made the determination that this was a closed matter, that they would bring no charges, and that we’re just supposed to deal with that,” he said. “When you have to have fidelity to some concern that someone’s going to kill you or kill your family or harm you at a public event, it erodes the representation that every member of Congress should be able to provide their district regardless of their viewpoint.” 

The office for the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Gaetz is a frequent critic of the Justice Department, saying during the 2016 campaign and after Trump was elected that it overstepped its bounds in investigating allegations of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in the presidential race.