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. Is there intelligent life in SFO?

    In hear the SFO city council is invoking "no meat Mondays". Brilliant! You Nancybots like being led by the ring in your nose. Don't be scared of the wingnuts...be scared of yourselves. Stay away from sharp objects and stairs. You might want to hire a non government agency to check out your water or air, there has to be something in it that makes you all so strange and oblivious to the rest of the world.

    April 7, 2010 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  2. JonDie

    Another Tea Party terrorist.

    April 7, 2010 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  3. Mike

    Both the Republicans and Democrats have failed. They resort to using emotion to stay elected. Gay rights ... denied because Insurance doesn't want 20 million new spouses to cover for cheaper than two single policies. (Obama has feable attempt to save face) Green movement ... a way for big business to profit (Look into how much Gore is in line to make or has already made). Health Care reform ... big business Insurance was just guaranteed 40 million new customers. (Why do you think Insurance didn't make a peep and their stock prizes rose the day after it passed?) Dems and Reps only want to pad their pocket. They could care less about me and you. Stop attacking each other, hold our elected officials accountable and find a 3rd party that is not in the pocket of every special interest in the book!!!!

    April 7, 2010 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  4. Loren

    This is a sad day. Every American should get at least one opportunity to threaten her without arrest or repercussions.

    April 7, 2010 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  5. Shelly

    Weird how these crazies believe that their constitutional rights are being violated but the reality is they are the ones violating constitutional laws!

    April 7, 2010 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  6. Martin

    Are all you who are so quick to tie this "threat" to the Republicans and heap such vitriole on them, also condemning the Democrats and rebuking them because some SHOT AT (not threatened) the office of a Republican House member? Of course not! It's because you are blinded by political ideology. Small minded fools...

    April 7, 2010 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  7. Loren

    This country is doing a stand up job of getting these wacko nut jobs off the streets and getting them the best Congressional jobs.

    April 7, 2010 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  8. Claude

    Rack. Will you provide two verifiable instances in which Bush was physically threatened? You cannot do it.

    April 8, 2010 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  9. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Why don't they arrest the people who are secretly stirring up all of this hatred. People like Boehner, McConnell, Cantor, Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, etc.

    April 8, 2010 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  10. Anonymous

    Wow Ridgeway... genius insult there. Do us a favor and do like how the more passively whiners do. Take your hate out by creating chain letters with blatant falsities... It seems that is the best people of your maturity can do.

    April 8, 2010 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  11. Gordon Duff

    Not hard to see where our "friends" had to go to find a patsy.

    April 8, 2010 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  12. Proud Liberal

    Dear Speaker Pelosi:

    Thank you for your superb leadership. You are a genuine patriot; anyone who thinks otherwise is quite delusional.

    Your friend out West

    April 8, 2010 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  13. TxCoon

    So Nancy Pelosi can outright insult our military and veterans, threaten them, encourage lawbreaking by pandering to illegal aliens, yet let one person say anything against her and the government steps in. The woman already thinks she is god and everyone should bow down to her and do her bidding. She has basically said the People of this Great Nation are to stupid to make their own decisions and the government (i.e. HER) can make better decisions for us.

    April 8, 2010 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  14. Me

    It has been reported he was arrested for having left a voicemail that stated, "if you want to see your house again, vote against health care." or something close to that affect. I can see the implied "threat" but this doesn't seem to me to be a death threat nor even worth being arrested for if the report is correct. Why is this not being reported on cnn.com?

    April 8, 2010 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  15. Republican

    Hmmmm, I am a republican, and violent threats are wrong no matter how you cut it. Republicans are doing it, and so are the Democrats. All this illustrates that the public is not happy what the president is doing along with Congress. WE SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF OURSELVES DEMOCRAT AND REPUBLICAN ALIKE!!! What the democrats are doing now is deplorable! We need to work together as Americans! People are watching us.

    April 8, 2010 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  16. Rodolfo H Castro

    Nothing is absurd and steril like cruelty ,Only exist or persist the
    justice. People that had some light in his head do not use it for
    guidance to find the good way.False education have a civilization
    with out mercy or compassion.Perfect life is kind.

    April 8, 2010 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  17. Pelosi is Scary

    Pelosi scares the heck of out of me.

    This is what happens when a party ignores the people and rams down a bunch of legislation that hurts people. Some people get upset.

    April 8, 2010 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  18. mitch

    Please let it be, they will charge him with common sense, and we all can continue to suffer!

    April 8, 2010 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  19. Rodolfo H Castro

    People that had some light in his head do not use it for guidance
    to find a good way. False education have a civilization with out mercy
    or compassion.Nothing is absurd and steril like cruelty .Only exist

    April 8, 2010 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  20. Mary

    All of you people who hate The American Way and brotherhood can pack your bags right now and get the heck out of The United States as far as I am concerned. We are sick of selfish whiners here.

    April 8, 2010 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  21. Gretchen

    After the way GW Bush was continually vilified, often quite unfairly,followed now by a few years(counting horribly long campaign) of watching how BO and ilk get away with ethics violations+a multitude of hidden or misreported gaffes and mistakes, it is absolutely no wonder this is happening. People are beyond being just fed up with the disgusting travesty of double standard that has been going on. They are emotionally wrung out from seeing the major media of the US brazenly betray some of our best citizens, even while that media worships a very bad Administration. BO is a tremendously weak yet deceptive person who is, STILL, incredibly, being coddled and excused for much, and this is going to get worse and worse.

    April 8, 2010 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  22. Bobby

    It is a shame. The GOP has stirred up this mess. They use every lie and scare tatic possible to get their way polticially. I like how the GOP also minimizes how roudy, cursing , violent tea baggers are showing their constitutional rights by acting like 3 year olds when they don't get their way or someone disagrees with them. Great job rethuglicians!
    We all had to deal with playground bullies! Now we have the repubilican political bullies!!

    April 8, 2010 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  23. Larry

    I really admire the spine this lady has shown, especially knowing that she's staring at the probability that she will lose her speakership as the result of her ramrodding the health care bill to passage. More than any other principal, she should be given credit for this landmark legislation; she deserves it. The buffoons who voted against it (mainly GOP) will end up liking it once they've slept a fortnight or two. They always do but will never admit it.

    April 8, 2010 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  24. LouieD

    "Liberals publicly threatened Bush for years."

    Please refresh our memories, because I for one cannot recall one serious threat to Bush, aside from that hilarious and well-deserved shoe-throwing incident.

    April 8, 2010 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  25. diesel

    oh, Greg and Luke your SF boys, go hug each other. The thing to go is to vote the money spending power hungry hungry socialists our out of the leadership. The end is near... November can't come soon enough. God bless

    April 8, 2010 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
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