2 charged with threatening Michigan officials over presidential election results

LANSING, Mich. — Authorities in Michigan have arrested two men accused of threatening public officials over the results of the 2020 presidential election, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Tuesday.

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Authorities charged 63-year-old Daniel Thompson, of Harrison, Michigan, with three counts of malicious use of service provided by a telecommunications service provider. Officials said that between April 30, 2020 and Jan. 19, 2021, Thompson left threatening messages for Rep. Elissa Slotkin and Sen. Debbie Stabenow, both Democrats who represent Michigan in Congress.

Officials with Nessel’s office said that in a Jan. 5 call to Stabenow, “Thompson stated he was angry about the results of the November election, that he joined a Michigan militia and that there would be violence if the election results were not changed.” Authorities said he reiterated the threats in an email sent to Stabenow’s office.

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A few days later, on Jan. 19, prosecutors said Thompson called Slotkin’s office and spoke with a staff member for more than an hour. During the conversation “he claimed people will die and used violent references, while also noting events that took place at the Capitol building,” officials said.

On Jan. 6, supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol, brawling with police and breaking windows in an hours long insurrection that left at least five people dead.

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Separately, officials charged 43-year-old Clinton Steward, of Douglas, Georgia, with one count of malicious use of service provided by a telecommunications service provider.

Prosecutors said that on Sept. 18, Stewart left a threatening voicemail for Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens, in which he blamed “activist judges” for ruling in favor of Trump’s 2020 election rival, President Joe Biden, “to win the election through mail-in ballots.”

“It is unacceptable and illegal to intimidate or threaten public officials,” Nessel said Tuesday. “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.”

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Several high-profile Democrats have faced threats in recent months, including Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. In October, authorities unsealed charges against several men accused of plotting to kidnap the governor, who faced criticism for enacting lockdown orders aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus. Officials with the FBI later said the group responsible for the plot had also discussed kidnapping Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, also a Democrat.

That same month, officials in Maryland arrested a man accused of threatening kidnap and kill Biden and then-Sen. Kamala Harris.