Feds charge Staten Island man over threat to Schumer, FBI
Federal authorities arrested a Staten Island man Tuesday after he made threats against Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and the FBI over the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Prosecutors said in a criminal complaint that Brian Maiorana turned to social media over the weekend after President-elect Joe Biden was declared the victor of the White House race to issue the threats, citing the anti-government novel “The Turner Diaries,” in which people of color and Jews are killed, and saying he would “blow up” an FBI building. He also issued a threat against “the Jew Senator from Jew York,” an apparent reference to Schumer.
The Justice Department said Maiorana was arrested in a Tuesday morning raid in Staten Island and appeared in a Brooklyn federal court. He is charged with making threatening interstate communication.
Prosecutors said Maiorana had made threatening comments online since September, saying he would kill protesters, lawmakers and law enforcement officials, though they did not specify which social media platform he used. Among the posts was a call for people to “hit the streets while these scumbags are celebrating and start blowing them away,” referring to those cheering Biden’s victory, and suggestions that the election had been “fraudulently stolen” from President Trump.
In an earlier post, Maiorana hinted he would throw “pipe bombs” at “mobs,” a reference to protesters demonstrating against racial inequality.
“The Department of Justice will not stand idly by when people like the defendant allegedly threaten to kill elected officials, lawful protesters and law enforcement simply because of animus towards the outcome of an election. Americans have a constitutional right to voice their opinions, but this Office will not tolerate violence or threats of violence used to intimidate others with whom they disagree,” stated acting United States Attorney Seth DuCharme.
Prosecutors wrote that Maiorana had been prohibited from owing a gun since he was convicted of sexual assault in 2007, but a source told The New York Times that authorities found a semiautomatic pistol and other weapons in his home. Among other material found was a book titled “The Anti-Government Movement Guidebook.”
The arrest comes amid lingering national fractures from a heated presidential race. Biden was declared the winner over the weekend, but Trump has refused to accept the outcome, citing groundless claims of mass voter fraud.