April 7th, 2010
08:09 PM ET
4 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.


Filed under: Nancy Pelosi • Popular Posts
soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. Joshua Ludd

    What did the republicans expect from their rhetoric?
    Also, in response to other comments... when and where did anyone actually threaten Bush's life???? I don't remember anyone threatening to KILL him.... and if a few nuts may have done so, at least they weren't doing it over something like healthcare reform.

    April 7, 2010 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  2. AC

    These folks r crazy and need to be locked up.
    All this over a passage of a bill. It is not that serious.
    Laws can be created, modified, and removed.
    Some people just don't have common sense.

    April 7, 2010 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  3. Chris

    Yes, thank you FBI and CNN for you have saved health care!!!! Oh yeah, you have elected a piece of crap president and now we have no free speech. Nancy "Pepsi Cola" should be burned at the stake with the rest of them. Simple answer. Republican or Democrat, if you aren't for term limits you are an IDIOT!!!!

    April 7, 2010 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  4. craig

    Hopefully they never bug the bars in America or half the country will be going to jail.

    April 7, 2010 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  5. jeff

    I would like to know the threat as well. Remember telling someone they hope they dont get re-elected or telling them to jump infront of acar is not a threat. When will they wake up and realize we are sick of all of them even you CNN who only prints what they want and not what the people want good think you are not a print news

    April 7, 2010 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  6. STORYBURNCOM

    I cannot imagine anyone thinking ill of sweet Nancy Pelosi

    April 7, 2010 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  7. Mike

    "I'm starting to fear the RIGHT more any other threats lately they are seriously losing it!!! They are not patriots!!! Patriots dont attempt to disrupt and dismantle their own Govt or Country......"

    Peter you forget history... this nation was founded by Patriots that disrupted and dismantled a govt. that no longer listen to their voices...

    Though I don't believe in threats, when millions of Americans flood the offices of these politicans with e-mails, letters, and phone call you wonder what it will take for them to realize we DO NOT LIKE the way they are directing this country...IN ALL polls left and right Congress has an approval rating of less than 20%. I don't care if you are Rep. or Dem. WHEN IS CONGRESS GOING TO WAKE UP!!!

    April 7, 2010 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  8. Alex

    To say the extreme right is not responsible for inciting these attacks is akin to state that the Camel on cigarette packaging does not have an appeal to children.

    April 7, 2010 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  9. renaldo

    This guy lives in subsidized housing and gets welfare checks. Wow, get the government off of his back.

    April 7, 2010 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  10. Jamie

    which liberals threatened Bush? Why do republicans have to lie about everything?

    April 7, 2010 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Okay, so they can arrest a guy for "threatening" Nancy Pelosi, but they can't arrest a guy who tried to blow up a plane headed to Denver from Washington. What's wrong with this picture?

    April 7, 2010 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  12. Kim

    Okay, so they can arrest a guy for "threatening" Nancy Pelosi, but they can't arrest a guy trying to blow up a plane with 157 passengers on board. What's wrong with this picture?

    April 7, 2010 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  13. Tony

    It sounds like they're serving kool-aid at the tea party.

    April 7, 2010 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  14. Nostradamus

    It seems Repugs don't realize that all this hatred and bigotry can cause a deep division into our Country? Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, and all those right wing nuts should realize that their hatred rethoric can boomerang against them. They should repeat until they grab within their narrow brain the wise words of the great Voltaire: " I will defend even with my life the right that you have to dissent of me". Hard to eat for some Repugs, right?

    April 7, 2010 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  15. Karl

    Violence and Hate hold no political party and people blaming Fox News and other misguided media outlets are pawns of the hate and berate game that has become our political system. Its time to disband the parties and run on what you stand for.

    April 7, 2010 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  16. Perhaps

    Perhaps the Republicans simply believe that assassination is a viable political tool? I mean most of them believe more guns=less gun crime, that global warming is a hoax perpetrated by scientists and that the earth is 6000 years old. Is this really so much of a stretch for them?

    April 7, 2010 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  17. A

    Things like that make me embarrassed to be an American : /

    April 7, 2010 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  18. Don

    People before you start calling people hate filled read your hate filled posts. I believe because Americans are so political and divided by the two parties that we are facing either a civil war or the breakup of the union. None of you so called patriots are any less hate filled than the guys you are putting down. You are part of the problem not a part of the solution. Is this what you wish?

    PS, before you label me a Republican I will tell you I am a lifelong Democrat from a family of Democrats, but first and foremost I am an American.

    April 7, 2010 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  19. Mercury

    To all saying that liberals threatened Bush, yes we did, with an investigation and hearings. You know it. You are deluding yourselves if you think there was more to it.

    We asked for congressional investigations, not violence. If you wrongwingers want to lie to yourselves, fine. But don't come out and try to lie in public.

    The true colors of the Reich, oops, Right are showing. You are no longer good Goldwater/Regan republicans. You are just plain un-American radicals.

    April 7, 2010 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  20. Bob

    What an IDIOT, to put your life and reputation on the line to voice your opinion over silly politics. Serves him well. Quit watching and listening to these" clowns" in the media voice their rhetoric and outrageous opinions on the way the country should be run.

    April 7, 2010 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  21. foil

    A house divided against itself cannot stand. Welcome to the Divided States of what used to be America.

    April 7, 2010 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  22. Michael

    The republicas are hiding among the tea party threating the constitution of this country with the help of irresponsible network like fox,misinforming and encouraging hate speech and racist comment. We shouldn't forget so soon they put us in these economic haship we are facing. GOP ll remain the party of NO against US national security. Shame, the good people of this country are better and well informed than the GOP thinks.

    April 7, 2010 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  23. Michael

    The republicas are hiding among the tea party threating the constitution of this country with the help of irresponsible network like fox,misinforming and encouraging hate speech and racist comment. We shouldn't forget so soon they put us in these economic harship we are facing. GOP ll remain the party of NO against US national security. Shame, the good people of this country are better and well informed than the GOP thinks.

    April 7, 2010 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  24. Ron

    Threatening any politician regardless of party or viewpoint is un-American and should not be tolerated. That being said, politicians on both the left and the right need to tone down their rhetoric. The constant demonizing of their rivals engaged in by both sides is not helpful and may drive violent behavior. Do we have to wait until something actually happens for the polticians to understand that words have consequences? I hope not.

    April 7, 2010 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  25. JT

    What I want to know is what is the penalty for threatening one of us?

    April 7, 2010 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
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