Sep 7, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Man who allegedly threatened to kill member of Congress faces federal charges

The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 7.
The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 7.

The Department of Justice unsealed a charge against a Maryland man who allegedly threatened to kill a member of Congress in emails sent from a government-issued computer.

Why it matters: Justin Kuchta, 39, was charged with one count of interstate communication containing a threat to injure and faces up to five years in prison if found guilty.

  • The criminal complaint against Kuchta did not name the member of Congress.

What they're saying: The Department of Justice did not respond to attempts to confirm the identity of the member of Congress.

The big picture: The criminal complaint alleges Kuchta responded to an email invitation sent by the member of Congress' district office in Texas on July 18 and said he would kill the member at the event.

  • “Thank you for the address!!! I’m coming to murder all of you Satanist *******fuckers!!! Especially the chuckle-**** Zodiak [sic] Killer [Member of Congress 1]!! That fat fake ****** **** will be the first on the gallows!! SEE ALL OF YOU ******* REALLY SOON!!! With my fresh militia and weapons!!! Thanks for the info *******!!!” the email read, according to the complaint.
  • It alleges that Kuchta sent another email on July 22 that read: “WE ARE COMING FOR CHUCKLE**** ZODIAK [sic] KILLER [Member of Congress 1]!!! THANKS FOR THE ADDRESS AND INVITE, SEE YOU ALL SOON ENOUGH!!!”

A staff member of the congressional member reported the emails to U.S. Capitol Police, which traced them back to an IP address originating from a Virtual Private Network within Maryland and a computer assigned to Kuchta.

  • He allegedly initially denied sending the messages but later said he sent the July 18 email after being advised that it was a federal crime to lie to a federal law enforcement officer.

Read the charges:

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