April 8th, 2010
12:43 PM ET
12 years ago

Suspect in Pelosi threats case weeps at court hearing

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/08/art.pelosi.gi.jpg caption="A man accused of threatening House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wept Thursday as he talked to his attorney before a federal court hearing."]San Francisco, California (CNN) - A man accused of threatening House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wept Thursday as he talked to his attorney before a federal court hearing.

Gregory L. Giusti, 48, was arrested Wednesday in San Francisco, California, where Pelosi's home district is located, according to FBI spokesman Joseph Schadler.

No further details were immediately available about the case. The FBI said more would be revealed at the court hearing.

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 state, 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 statement said.

- CNN's Dan Simon contributed to this report.

Filed under: Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. david

    About time that the FBI started picking up these nuts and making it clear that such actions would not be tolerated and the perp would pay the price.

    April 8, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. T'SAH from Virginia

    Weeping PUNK!! He's BAD enough to send threat messages and then crying like a baby when he gets arraigned.

    A lot of these WHINERS and WEEPERS think they are TOUGH while they stalk and threaten someone over the phone but in the end, they just pan out to be a 'follower' or 'repeater' or a 'I wanna-be just like Hannity/Palin/Limbaugh/Beck’ punks!!!

    The court should have NO MERCY on this man and he should be used to set a rule that this country is NOT going to tolerate that type of behavior... No IFs – ANDs – or BUTs about it!!!!

    April 8, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. Shirley In California

    No matter what you think of a person or their polices – violence is NEVER acceptable. He should have taken out his frustrations on CNN's website like we do everyday. There is no excuse in society for this type of behavior – whether you are a democrat of a republican. Please make an example of this person. Let others know this will not be tolerated – not now – not ever.

    Thank you law enforcement.

    April 8, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |


    April 8, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Hmm, a real tough guy I see!

    April 8, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. tplatz1

    Patriot crybaby. I'm sure the guys in prison will LOVE him 🙂 LOL

    April 8, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. Quality American

    I hope they show compassion like they talked about for people without healthcare

    April 8, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  8. Larry

    I would bet my next heartbeat this unstable suspect comes from the extreme right. They seem to be the most impressionable, the most exploitable and the most ill-informed of our citizenry. They remind me of someone who has just a tad of formal education; you know, just enough to be dangerous. It's like the proverbial guy who announces "....I read a book once, and....".

    April 8, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  9. geecee

    Some people are just plain crazy. Others are just plain stupid. Some are crazy and stupid – didn't this guy ever hear of "caller id"? In any event, he needs to be punished or forced to undergo mental health treatment. Evidently he has had some brushes with the law enforcement community in the past for threatening someone over some other issue entirely. There sure are a LOT of crazy people in this country and they come out of the woodwork when they are down on their luck, lost their job, or home or family. They want to blame everyone but themselves for their miserable lives. So its usually someone in authority who gets the blame, especially politicians!!

    April 8, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  10. ray

    had this been a republican congress woman this man would have been in jail already. something about this country now, since a blackman is president the rules has been changed to serve all the white people especially the red necks on the right.

    April 8, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. Somewhereuphere

    What a coward!!!! hides behind anonymous threats,... but can't face the music, and repercussions of his misguided actions.

    April 8, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. Mr. Moderate

    It's not as much fun when they find out who you are is it Mr. Giusti.

    April 8, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. wally

    He'll do more weaping when he's put in prison...that's for sure! Maybe he'll start to understand democracy after a few years in jail.

    April 8, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. Ben in Texas

    There's a quote from Giusti's mother on the web, and she blames his behavior on Fox News and other radical groups:

    "Greg frequently gets in with a group of people that have really radical ideas and that are not consistent with myself or the rest of the family, which gets him into problems," Eleanor Giusti said. "Apparently, I say this must be another one he's somehow gotten on to either by, I say FOX News or all of those that are really radical and he, that's where he comes from."

    So, she certainly knows who's been stirring the tea pot. Fox News and "all of those that are really radical", like Palin, Bachmann, Limbaugh, etc – You are ultimately responsible.

    April 8, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  15. S.B.

    Most of the people making these threats probably have no idea exactly what's in the health care bill. I blame Fox News and Rush Limbaugh for much of the misinformation that has gotten some people so worked up. Some of the Republican congressmen and Sarah Palin have also perpetrated many of the lies. I also think the Democrats could be doing a better job of informing people with accurate information, but people like these wouldn't listen to accurate information anyhow.

    April 8, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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