National Security

Man charged for threatening to kill Biden, Bennie Thompson: prosecutors

Prosecutors on Wednesday said a federal grand jury indicted a Pennsylvania man for threatening to kill House Jan. 6, 2021, committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) in a letter sent to his Capitol office last week.

Maverick Vargo, 25, threatened President Biden, Thompson, Thompson’s family, and U.S. District Court Judge Robert Mariani in the letter, also sending what appeared to be a white powder and alluding to anthrax, prosecutors said.

Vargo, who is from Berwick, Pa., is charged with threatening the president, sending interstate communications with a threat and influencing a federal official by threat, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced.

Prosecutors alleged Vargo sent the letter from the Luzerne County Correctional Facility in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and he could now face up to 25 years in prison for the new charge.

The letter arrived at Thompson’s office in the Rayburn House Office Building days before he and his colleagues on the Jan. 6 panel held what may be their final hearing in the committee’s months-long series to convince the public of former President Trump’s culpability for the Capitol attack.

Prosecutors said Vargas wrote to Thompson, “I’m going to kill you! I will make you feel the rest of our pain & suffering. There is nowhere or nobody who can keep you from me. I am going to kill you & those you love. I promise you that I will keep my promise until the day of my death.”

The letter also allegedly said, “you & Joe Biden soon will face death for the wrongs you’ve done to US.”

U.S. Capitol Police announced last week that congressional staff had reported a suspicious letter to law enforcement, and the agency cleared the area near Thompson’s office as they screened it.

A Capitol Police spokesperson said staffers initially thought a stain inside the letter could be white powder, but it was not.

This story was updated at 9:20 a.m. Oct. 20.

Tags anthrax Bennie Thompson Bennie Thompson Capitol Police death threats House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack indictment Joe Biden Joe Biden Maverick Vargo Robert Mariani Trump U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania U.S. Capitol Police
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