Oct 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Man charged over threats to kidnap and kill Biden and Harris

Biden Harris sign

Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

A Maryland man has been arrested and charged for allegedly threatening to kidnap and kill former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), according to a criminal complaint filed by the Secret Service Wednesday.

The big picture: Fears of potential political violence are running high with just two weeks until Election Day. Earlier this month, the FBI foiled an alleged militia plot to kidnap the Democratic governors of Michigan and Virginia.

Details: 42-year-old James Dale Reed is charged with threatening mass violence and voter intimidation. According to the complaint, Reed left a letter threatening Biden and Harris on the doorstep of a Maryland residence with Biden/Harris signs in the yard.

  • The note claimed that Biden and Harris will turn the U.S. into a “Communist Wasteland” and contained graphic threats of sexual violence toward Harris.
  • “We are the ones with these scary guns, we are the ones your children have nightmares about. ... When we capture Grandpa Biden we will all severely beat him to the point of death," Reed wrote.
  • The letter claimed that an unspecified “we” had a list of Biden/Harris supporters to target.

Where it stands: Reed, a white man, was apprehended last Friday after his image was captured by the residence door camera. The maximum penalty for the charges is five years in prison.

  • Reed admitted he had written the letter because he was “upset about the political situation,” according to the complaint.
  • It’s not the first time Reed surfaced on law enforcement officials’ radar. He made a threatening statement against a person under Secret Service protection in 2014.

Read the complaint [Warning: it contains graphic language].

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