Two men charged with making threatening calls to Michigan officials

Two men charged with making threatening calls to Michigan officials
© Greg Nash

The Michigan attorney general’s office on Tuesday announced charges against two men for allegedly making threats to lawmakers and state officials leading up to and after the November presidential election. 

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) said in a press release that 62-year-old Daniel Thompson and 43-year-old Clinton Stewart both face criminal charges in connection with separate instances in which they left threatening messages to public officials. 

The office argued that Thompson, who identified himself as a Republican, left a Jan. 5 voicemail for Michigan Sen. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowGraham's COVID-19 'breakthrough' case jolts Senate Biden pays tribute to late Sen. Levin: 'Embodied the best of who we are' Former longtime Sen. Carl Levin dies at 87 MORE (D) that contained profanities and threats of violence. 

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Thompson in the message and in an additional email to the senator’s office allegedly vocalized anger with the results of the November election and said that he would resort to violence if the election results were not changed. 

President BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions GOP skepticism looms over bipartisan spending deal Biden vaccine rule sets stage for onslaught of lawsuits MORE won Michigan in the 2020 election, though Trump and his allies attempted to challenge this result by filing lawsuits that made unsupported claims of widespread voter fraud and voting irregularities in the state. Several of the legal complaints were thrown out by courts. 

According to the state attorney general’s office, Thompson also made threats in a Jan. 19 phone call with a staffer in Rep. Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinHouse erupts in anger over Jan. 6 and Trump's role House passes host of bills to strengthen cybersecurity in wake of attacks Democrat unveils bill to allow only House members to serve as Speaker MORE’s (D-Mich.) office, as well as in an earlier April 2020 call to Slotkin. 

Thompson now faces three counts of malicious use of service provided by a telecommunications service provider, which could result in a six-month misdemeanor charge or a $1,000 fine, Nessel’s office said. 

Meanwhile, Stewart, from Douglas, Ga., faces one count of malicious use of a telecommunications service for allegedly leaving a threatening voicemail in September for Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens. 

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Stewart reportedly argued in the message that “activist judges,” were biased and issuing rulings in favor of Biden so that he would win the 2020 election. 

The attorney general’s office said that arraignments for the two men are pending, with no additional court dates yet scheduled. 

Nessel condemned the men’s actions in a statement, writing, “It is unacceptable and illegal to intimidate or threaten public officials.” 

“To those who think they can do so by hiding behind a keyboard or phone, we will find you and we will prosecute you, to the fullest extent of the law,” she added. “No elected official should have to choose between doing their job and staying safe.” 

Election officials and lawmakers in Michigan and other states faced a series of threats from Trump supporters in the lead-up and aftermath of the 2020 election, culminating most vividly in the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol as Congress met to certify Biden’s win. 

In December, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) said that dozens of people gathered outside her home to protest Michigan’s certification of the election, adding that some of the people were armed.

The FBI announced in October that it had foiled a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerBiden pays tribute to late Sen. Levin: 'Embodied the best of who we are' Former longtime Sen. Carl Levin dies at 87 Reporter: FBI involvement in Whitmer plot similar to sting operations targeting Islamic extremists MORE (D) and raid the state Capitol. Six people have been charged in connection with the plot, and one of the men last month pleaded guilty as part of a cooperation agreement with the police.