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

FBI: Man arrested for threatening House speaker


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. Z.

    They can't arrest everybody. Smarter people won't threaten beforehand.

    April 7, 2010 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  2. Allen from Illinois

    When you anger the left, they hug a tree, there is no danger. When you anger the right they threaten people with their guns. They threaten to shoot you, and they MEAN it!

    They also ecouraged people like Timothy McVeigh, a right wing nut who blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City.

    April 7, 2010 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  3. lovable liberal

    Rack, you're delusional. While Duhbya was pResident, it was wingnuts like Ann Coulter threatening liberals in defense of Republican authoritarianism.

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

    I wonder when they are charging GLENNN BECCCCCK

    April 7, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  5. Herman from West Virginia

    Let me get this straight...an ordinary citizen who HAS been the victim of Domestic Violence and is threatened gets told "threats aren't enough to act on" but IF you happen to be someone important...

    April 7, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  6. ewilson

    The republicans have brought on this on with lies and hatred. I hope they never get back in power. They have damaged our country tremendeously. especially Shaun Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Beck and Palin.

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

    This is what you get when you have a network (FOX) that spews hate and lies about an administration that is trying to improve Americans quality of life.. In contrast to the previous one that improved the elite corporate rich. Can anyone explain why no other network does this? Fair and Balanced? LOL

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

    Luke the Liberal,

    Your...... well, just a stupid liberal!

    April 7, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |

    Stop whining about DEMOCRACY ! This is not a democracy: It is a CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC. Key word : Constitution. You should actually read it sometime.

    April 7, 2010 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  10. Steve

    You see what is happening in Kyrgygstan? Well, that could happen here also if this crap does not stop. Who is to blame? It starts in the White House, ends with Pelosi...

    April 7, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  11. JJ

    I've never seen politics get so contentious or downright confrontational. There are two parties–apologies to Independents. That means up to 50% of population will be unhappy with the decisions being made. Deal with it. I did for the entire term of the last administration.

    April 7, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  12. Steve-Illinois

    Where were the reporters when Stupak was getting threats, from the left, when he and his 11 buddies were attempting to hold up the passage of health care if the abortion language wasn't changed?
    I guess it wasn't "news" then!

    April 7, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  13. Big John

    Good work, but other arrests should include those who are stirring up hate and violence...Rush, Sarah the Quitter and Beck to name a few. These are hypocrytes who claim to love America or claim to be christians...and they're out stirring up the hate pot...disgusting...

    April 7, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |

    It is time that Republican politicians put an end to all of this hateful rhetoric. They are destroying this country!

    April 7, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  15. Duf

    Nancy Pelosi does such great work for America and our regular every day citizens. It's too bad the repugs who represent only the rich and big crops waste so much of their money trashing here. But it is fun to watch them throw away their money!!

    April 7, 2010 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  16. Tracy

    I am ashamed.... for our country, for our morals and for our complete lack of integrity.

    April 7, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  17. Greg in MO

    You liberals really have the most malleable minds. Just step back and read the comments that are posted here. At first I was annoyed because none of you can develop an independent thought but now, I am amazed with the psychological programming that is loaded into your weak minds and how easily you let it spew forth.

    April 7, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  18. Stephan in Billings

    Though the Republican members of the House and Senate purport to strongly be against such acts, including the vandalisms, sadly they give tacid approval of these same acts but are too cowardess to admit it.

    April 7, 2010 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  19. lyn

    CNN can't you see where this stupid man got this violence information from it is from those Republicans,Rush Beck,Palin, Bachman and FOX NEWS. and CNN you are also spreading violence all across America with your constance reporting of this hateful woman Palin and Bachman. PLEASE STOP you were the best news station not anymore.

    April 7, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  20. ypsifan

    No surprise here - The Fox channel and the Republican leadership has been stirring up the weak brains in the Tea Party and other right-wing extremists.

    Death threats? You mean like the Palin – Bachmann Death Panels? Hang the man on the steps of Congress!

    April 7, 2010 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  21. Ron in AZ

    Open your eyes folks. People (right and left) are fed up with the way this government is heading. I personnaly do not trust any of them, democrats,or republicans. We need to fire them all in the upcoming elections.

    April 7, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  22. Bobbie J

    You take a group of people who have a bit of uncertainty in their lives and you shout over and over those people or that person is the cause of all your problems. And pretty soon these poor desperate people who is fed a daily dose of this on a steady basis will act.

    You ask these same people what policies have the administration enacted that has adversely affected your life and they go silent.

    We live in sick and twisted times when insuring that all Americans have health care leads to death threats of law makers.

    April 7, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  23. ypsifan

    Does anyone really doubt that the fools making threats and tossing bricks have never read the Helath Care Bill and have been bought and paid for by the right-wing extremists? If they did read the Bill, they would not understand it. Dumb is as Dumb does.

    The only threats that Bushy and Draft-Dodging Dicky received were from the Iraq WMD that never existed.

    April 7, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  24. Waiting for November

    Of course, Nancy doesn't do anything to bait anybody...

    April 7, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  25. judy

    I can't believe this person is from California. He must have been paid. We all love Nancy and think she is doing a wonderful job. Health care is badly needed in Calif. We have people living on the streets that don't have insurance. We believe in helping each other. He is not from here. I hope you keep him in jail for a very long time.

    April 7, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
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