April 7th, 2010
08:09 PM ET
5 years ago

FBI: Man arrested for threatening House speaker

ALT TEXT

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was a leading figure in Democratic efforts to win congressional approval of a new health care bill. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

(CNN) - (CNN) - A 48-year-old man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly threatening House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the FBI announced.

The arrest occurred in San Francisco, California, where Pelosi's home district is located, according to FBI spokesman Joseph Schadler. He identified the suspect as Gregory L. Giusti, but no further details were immediately available.

FBI spokeswoman Patti Hansen said charges against the suspect would be revealed at a court hearing Thursday. She declined to provide any further details of the case.

Pelosi is the top Democrat in the U.S. House and was a leading figure in efforts to win congressional approval of sweeping health care legislation.

A statement from Pelosi's office said the arrest occurred "after an investigation into threats against" the speaker. It thanked law enforcement officials and said Pelosi would have no further comment at this time.

Threats against U.S. senators and representatives increased as Congress completed work last month on the health care bill, which was unanimously opposed by Republicans. In addition, conservative activists around the country protested the bill.

Most of the reported threats were against Democrats, though there were some against Republicans.

On Tuesday, the Justice Department announced the arrest of a 64-year-old Washington state resident for allegedly issuing death threats against Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, who supported the health care bill.

A department statement said the suspect, identified as Charles Alan Wilson of Selah, Washington, made the threats in phone messages to Murray's office between March 22 and April 4.

Wilson allegedly stated that Murray "had a target on her back" and that he wanted to kill her, according to the statement, which said the threats were in response to congressional passage of the new health care bill.

Threatening a federal official is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, the Justice Department statement said.

Updated: 8:09 p.m.


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soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. Liberals are Hypocrites

    Gee...where were you guys when Norman LeBoon threatened Eric Cantor in a web video? And Marge,just because the Supreme Court that ruled in Bush`s favor in 2000 during the whole Florida fiasco,does not mean he stole it.Come on now....

    April 7, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  2. Wmscot

    As long as there are people paying the likes of Palin, Rush, Beck and that ditz from Minnesota to go around feeding the frenzy of the uneducated voters there will be hate and people with guns who will do harm. Remember the right wing nuts are the one that have the guns and the NRA !

    April 7, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  3. Liberals are Hypocrites

    Forgive me...I left out that the Supreme Court was mostly conservative,my mistake

    April 7, 2010 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  4. Frank

    These people are truly nut cases, but their ignorance and paranoia has been fed by nonsense about "death panels" "rationing" of health care by the President (currently the role of health insurance companies via "managed" care) and a great number of lies in general by the GOP. There are not really many truly violent types, but some of the comments here reflect a great deal of ignorance as well. The Secret Service has stated that the death threats against Obama have been running 2.5 times more than against Bush. Likewise, the Democrats did not encourage people to demonize Bush, the majority leader (Delay was truly useless) or anyone else nearly as much as this President and majority leader have been. One is black, the other a woman. Hmmmm.

    April 7, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  5. Jim C

    This is but another sign that our ability to disagree without being disagreeable has become a lost art. I took heart at Senator Coburn's remarks about not agreeing with Speaker Pelosi, but that did not mean she was a bad person. We need to remember that our enemies do not care if we are Democrats or Republicans, or liberals or conservatives. They just hate us because we are Americans. Maybe we should see those people as more significant enemies and not be so consumed with the fact that other Americans may not vote the way we want.

    April 7, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  6. Craig

    I blame all of this hate and the threats on the Glen Beck, Rush, and Fox News Talking heads. They preach this hatred everyday. It is time for them to be held accountable fore tearing this country apart for a profit. Shame on them.

    April 7, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  7. Robby

    "Maybe it i time that Republican politicians put an end to all of this hateful rhetoric."
    No CBR, the repubs just sit back and let the hate and lies have their effect, never repudiating Limpbag or taking Beck to task for his lunacy.
    Maybe they are afraid to get in the hatemongers sights, I've seen them eat their own!

    April 7, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  8. ned rierson

    Ole, Charles of Selah Washington threatened Sen. Murray with voicemails he will harm her. He told a undercover FBI agent, "I have a firearm, a concealed carry permit and I wont hesitate to use it, Know what I mean".

    You just don't threaten anyone with bodily harm. The FBI doesn't mess around. They serve and protect more than you'll ever see or hear of.

    Nice job, keep up the good work. We the people are greatfull for your dedication and service to our land.

    April 7, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  9. call me crazy

    It's real funny until someone looses and eye. That's what comes to mind when I hear republicans say they aren't inciting violence.

    Unfortunately, I fully believe that before this presidents first term is up, there will be an assassination attempt. Mark my words. The republicans will disavow everything just like they did in the sixties even after three major figures were killed.

    They are not just the "party of no", they are the party of "it's our way, or we kill you".

    April 7, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  10. Bill R

    One only has to look at the posts on this thread to realize the Right Wing in America are approaching Talibanism. The thinly veiled threats and vicious insults are part and parcel for the right wing, sheep fueled by right wing overlords designed to foment terrorism. The liberals did not threaten Bush in large numbers, and if any did, most liberals thought people threatening the POTUS Bush should go to prison, just like right wingers who threaten Democrats. That is the one difference between Democrats and Republicans, Republicans want those making threats to succeed against Democrats, while Democrats want those who threaten our nations GOP leaders to go to prison. In other words, Democrats are not terrorists, and I will let you be the judge if Republicans, the party of McVeigh, are.

    April 7, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  11. Perusing-through

    Send this man to prison.
    Let him make threats from prison.

    April 7, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  12. Dianne

    Thank You Speaker Pelosi. I have always supported you and will continue to support you. This woman gets the job done. Stand you ground. Congragulations.

    April 7, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  13. Don't want to be an American Idiot.

    Typical Domestic Terrorist.. But wait Obama is a socialist. Also they should arrest anybody who threatens the U.S President. Unless its a conservative or Republican of course.

    April 7, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The Constitution doesn't protect anyone who threatens harm to any person. People are referencing their Constitutional rights are being taken away when they are the ones violating the Constitution. What ignorance.

    April 7, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  15. chasz3rd

    Our Justice system at work. Threaten a politician and go to jail. American big buisness can disregard federal safety laws, Cause loss of life of many,Pay fines and admit no wrong doing when wrong doing is prooved and documented. This is America's justice system. I am so proud to be an American.

    April 7, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  16. OrdinaryAmerican

    Many THANKS! to everyone at the Bureau for doing such a great job.

    April 7, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  17. avatar

    One nailed. Beck, rush, sarah, bachman, O'really? and Insanity to follow. Hehehehe!!

    April 7, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  18. martin

    "I know 10,000 super patriots in Minnesota that think this is GREAT news."

    Actually, most of the attendee's came from Wisconsin for the free drinks.

    April 7, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  19. Michael from Ventura

    These crazies need to be put away. They are not only SICK- they are UnAmerican and show a fervor for 30's-style gestapo/brown shirt tactics.

    April 7, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  20. Andrew

    Dear wingnuts, your rhetoric will bite you in the next election. If you choose bullets, they may also come back at you. You are a MINORITY – get used to it.

    April 7, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  21. NotAnObamaNazi

    A sad day indeed, they should have waited until _after_ to arrest him, obviously the FBI is just not thinking straight.

    April 7, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  22. JimBob

    Threatening Nancy Pelosi is a crime? Huh....never would have thought.

    April 7, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  23. ELI

    If she had been arrested and charged with treason as she should be the threats would be of no concern because Nancy would be perfectly safe in prison. The constitution is the supreme law of the land and congress is being held above the law by our law enforcement. Why haven't these people who have supported unconstitutional legislation been arrested? The delusional left keeps hating the Tea Party and anyone else who stands for personal liberty, even calling us terrorists yet they will denounce fox news? Their rhetoric is the true one of hate and deceit. I'm a constitutionalist who despises neocons and progressives equally because I like many tea partiers see through the false left right paradigm. It is time to put America before party as neither serves us! WAKE UP!

    April 7, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  24. Kent in CA

    One is almost compelled to wonder: was he wearing a brown shirt...?

    April 7, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  25. D.

    Good, and the political process and voting should be the process by which to take Pelosi out of power not such nuts. Look as Stupak, seems like he himself does not believe anymore the arguments he tried to sell the public (and may consider self-retirement due to this lack of self belief).

    April 7, 2010 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
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