The Justice Department charged the man who was arrested near the home of Judge Brett Kavanaugh in Maryland on Wednesday morning with attempted or threatening to kidnap or murder a U.S. judge.
The man, Nicholas John Roske, called emergency authorities saying he was having suicidal thoughts and carrying a firearm in his suitcase, prompting his arrest. according to the criminal complaint.
He told law enforcement he traveled from California to kill “a specific U.S. Supreme Court judge,” according to an FBI affidavit filed Wednesday. The affidavit says Roske was upset by the leaked Supreme Court opinion regarding abortion rights, an upcoming gun control case and school shooting last month in Uvalde, Texas.
“Roske indicated that he believed that the Justice he intended to kill would be on the side of the Second Amendment decisions that would loosen gun control laws,” the FBI agent wrote. “Roske said he started thinking about how to give his life a purpose and decided he would kill the Supreme Court judge” after entering his home. Roske also planned to commit suicide, the affidavit added.
On Wednesday morning, Roske was carrying a suitcase and a backpack full of a tactical knife, a Glock 17 pistol, two magazines, ammunition, pepper spray and bandages, the FBI said.
Roske also had a hammer, a screwdriver, a nail drill, a crowbar, a pistol light, and duct tape on hand, according to the affidavit.
There has been an increase in threats against the court amid the debate and protests over national abortion rights that have taken place in the United States. The Department of Homeland Security issued a memorandum last month warning law enforcement that there are potential threats to members of the Supreme Court after a draft opinion revoking Roe v. Wade has been leaked.
The memorandum also says Supreme Court police have noticed a large increase in threats of violence on social media, and some are being investigated. Some of those threats have been directed at the courts and the courthouse, which is now surrounded by a fence.
The arrest took place hours before the courts handed down more sentences in the final weeks of the annual session.
The court did not answer a question about whether Kavanaugh was in the building on Wednesday morning. The building has been closed to the public since March 2020 and judges no longer announce their views from the courtroom due to covid protocols.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said Wednesday that “threats of violence and actual violence against” Supreme Court judges “attack the heart of our democracy and we will do everything we can to prevent and hold accountable those who make them.”
“This kind of behavior is obviously a behavior that we will not tolerate,” Garland told reporters. “Threats of violence and real violence against judges, of course, attack the heart of our democracy and we will do everything we can to prevent them and hold the people who do it accountable.”
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement that there has been “increased security” in the homes of judges since last month.
“I call on the leaders of both parties in Washington to strongly condemn these actions in clear terms. It is vital to our constitutional system that judges be able to perform their duties without fear of violence against them and their families,” he said. Hogan, a Republican.
“We will continue to partner with federal and local law enforcement to help ensure that these residential areas are safe,” Hogan said.
This story is breaking and will be updated.
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Armed man arrested near Brett Kavanaugh’s home after making threats against justice – Press Telegram Source link Armed man arrested near Brett Kavanaugh’s home after making threats against justice – Press Telegram