Louis Capriotti, 45, left a voicemail on Dec. 29, 2020, for a U.S. House member from New Jersey, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John Lausch said.
Capriotti allegedly said that if certain individuals “think that Joe Biden is going to put his hand on the Bible and walk into that [expletive] White House on January 20th, they’re sadly [expletive] mistaken.”
Capriotti further allegedly stated in the voicemail, “We will surround the [expletive] White House and we will kill any [expletive] Democrat that steps on the [expletive] lawn,” according to a criminal complaint.
Capriotti allegedly has a history of leaving profane voicemails for members of Congress.
Capriotti was charged with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce. The charge carries a prison term of up to five years. He was scheduled to make an initial court appearance on Tuesday afternoon.
“Our office takes the security of our public servants very seriously,” Lausch said in a statement. “Individuals who cross the line of free speech by making unlawful threats will be held accountable.”
The case hadn’t been entered into the federal court system as of 2:20 p.m. Central Time. It wasn’t clear whether Capriotti had retained an attorney.
President Donald Trump on Monday approved a request from Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser for a pre-emergency declaration because of security concerns regarding the Jan. 20 inauguration.
Bowser told Trump that the plans and resources for the event were “insufficient to establish a safe and secure environment as a direct result of the insurrectionist actions that occurred on January 6.” She was referring to the storming of the Capitol during a joint session of Congress.
Bowser this week urged people not to travel to the nation’s capital for the inauguration. The swearing-in was already being curtailed because of health concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Presidential Inaugural Committee this month axed plans to hold an in-person parade, opting for a virtual one instead.
Up to 15,000 National Guard troops could be deployed around D.C. on Inauguration Day.
Biden told reporters on Monday that he’s not scared about taking his oath outside in light of the Capitol breach.
“I’m not afraid of taking the oath outside,” he said.