August 8th, 2008
06:18 AM ET
10 years ago

New Details: Man held for alleged Obama assassination threat

Raymond Hunter Geisel is being held on charges that he threatened to assassinate Sen. Barack Obama.

Raymond Hunter Geisel is being held on charges that he threatened to assassinate Sen. Barack Obama.

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) - A man was being held in Florida on Thursday on charges he told classmates at a training seminar that he would kill Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama if he is elected, according to a law enforcement official and court documents.

The threats came just days before Obama was scheduled to visit Florida and were made by a person discovered to have ammunition, a handgun and other weapons, authorities said.

An affidavit filed by a Secret Service agent in U.S. District Court claims that Raymond Hunter Geisel, of Marathon, Florida, threatened to "kill, kidnap and cause bodily harm upon a major candidate for president of the United States, that is, Senator Barack Obama."

A search of Geisel's vehicle and a hotel room in Miami, where Geisel was attending a bail bondsman training class, found a 9-mm handgun, ammunition that included armor-piercing and rifle bullets, police-style emergency lights, body armor, a machete and two canisters of tear gas, among other military-style items, according to the document.

Agents say that classmates of Geisel reported that, between July 25-28, Geisel used a racial slur toward Obama and said "if he gets elected, I'll assassinate him myself."

A classmate said that, one day after class, she also heard Geisel say "that he hated George W. Bush and that he wanted to put a bullet in the president's head."

Obama made several campaign stops in Florida on Friday, a day before federal agents arrested Geisel at a Holiday Inn Express in Miami.

During an interview with the Secret Service, Geisel said he couldn't remember whether he threatened Obama and the president, but told agents that "if he wanted to kill Senator Obama he would simply shoot him with a sniper rifle."

He later said that comment was a joke, the agent said in the document.

Geisel also said he has post-traumatic stress disorder, which affects his memory, and had once checked himself into a psychiatric institution for treatment.

The affidavit, signed by Special Agent Charles R. Adie, said Geisel "generally provided no excuse" for why he had the weapons and other items - claiming that he collects some of them, that the handgun was for target practice during the bail bondsman course and that he uses the machete and a hatchet for cutting through brush in Maine, where he lived most of his life before moving to Florida in January.

On Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen T. Brown ordered that Geisel be held in jail until his trial, calling him a danger to the community and a risk to run away before his date in court.

The judge noted that Geisel lives on a sailboat, is unemployed and has no strong ties to the Florida area.

Geisel is scheduled to appear in court on August 18. If he has been officially indicted by then, he would enter a plea. If not, it would merely be a preliminary hearing on the charges.

 Click here to read the Secret Service affidavit

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
August 8th, 2008
06:05 AM ET
10 years ago

POLTICAL HOT TOPICS: Friday, Aug. 8, 2008



CNN: U.S. troops may leave by 2011, Iraqi officials say
Iraq and the United States are close to reaching a deal under which U.S. combat troops would leave by December 2010 and the rest would leave by the end of 2011, two Iraqi officials said Thursday.

USA Today: Flip-flops more fashionable this election
Models of consistency they are not. But because of who they are and the times they are running in, political analysts say, presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and John McCain are not likely to be felled by charges of flip-flopping.

LA Times: McCain ad plays up Democrats' praise of him
The montage includes Clinton, Kerry, Biden and Dean - and sets off a flurry of retractions.

Financial Times: Democratic jitters as Obama heads home
Few people are more likely to need a holiday than Barack Obama. Yet as he heads off on Friday for his first week-long break since he launched his presidential bid 19 months ago, Mr Obama is dogged by rising angst about his campaign’s direction.

CNN Radio: Heck no, they won’t go!
House GOP members vow to keep up their daily protests on the House floor for at least two more weeks. Also, democratic unity remains unsettled (at least in the eyes of some) as talk abounds of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s name being added to the ballot in Denver. And finally, the Secret Service takes action on what they see as a serious threat. Bob Costantini has today's CNN Radio Political Ticker.

The Australian: Find your inner maverick, McCain's brother tells him
WHITE House hopeful John McCain's younger brother Joe has been telling the senator he will need to rediscover his maverick self if he is to win the presidency.

LA Times: McCain, Obama tiptoe across vice presidential minefield
For both candidates, the goal is the same: Who will help them while angering the fewest people?


Filed under: Political Hot Topics
August 8th, 2008
05:50 AM ET
10 years ago

ON THE TRAIL: Friday, Aug. 8, 2008


* Sen. John McCain visits the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.

* Sen. Barack Obama has no public events.

Filed under: On the Trail
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