Dec 11, 2023 - Politics & Policy

New Hampshire man charged for threatening Vivek Ramaswamy

Vivek Ramaswamy, chairman and co-founder of Strive Asset Management and 2024 Republican presidential candidate, during the Republican presidential primary debate hosted by NewsNation in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, US, on Wednesday, Dec. 6

Vivek Ramaswamy during the Republican presidential primary debate on Dec. 6. Photo: Micah Green/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A New Hampshire man has been charged with sending threatening messages targeting GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, U.S. Attorney Jane E. Young announced Monday.

Why it matters: The incident underscores the security threats faced by political figures at a time when threats against lawmakers continue to surge.

  • The U.S. Attorney's Office did not specify in its announcement which candidate was the subject of the threats, but Ramaswamy's spokesperson Tricia McLaughlin confirmed to Axios that he was the targeted candidate.
  • NBC Boston first reported that Ramaswamy was the candidate threatened.

State of play: Tyler Anderson, 30, is charged with transmitting an interstate threat, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a press release.

  • Last week, Anderson received a text message publicizing a campaign event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire scheduled for Dec. 11. The U.S. Attorney's Office did not specify which candidate was the target.
  • "Great, another opportunity for me to blow his brains out!" Anderson responded to the campaign text message on Dec. 8, adding that he was "going to kill everyone who attends and then f---- their corpses."

On Dec. 9 federal agents searched Anderson's home and arrested him, according to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint.

  • During the search, an FBI agent found Anderson's phone. The text messages reported by the campaign were found in a deleted folder, the affidavit noted.
  • Additional threatening text messages, dating on or around Dec. 6 and sent to a different presidential candidate, were also found on Anderson's phone, per the affidavit.

The big picture: "We are grateful to law enforcement for their swiftness and professionalism in handling this matter," McLaughlin told Axios, adding that Ramaswamy's security team had worked closely with New Hampshire state police.

  • The FBI, which led the investigation into the matter, and the U.S. Attorney's Office declined to provide any further details.

What they're saying: "We're going to let the investigators do their work and figure out who this person is and what their motives might be," McLaughlin added.

  • "We constantly hear about January 6 and 'violence' and 'extremism on the right' from the media, but the same media goes silent when the target is a Republican," she added.
  • When "deranged voices and left-wing cranks" demonize Republicans, she added, "it's no wonder that fanatics will take action."

What to watch: Anderson is set to make his first federal court appearance Monday afternoon, per the press release.

  • If convicted he faced up to five years in prison and three years of supervised release, as well as a $250,000 fine.
Go deeper