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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].

Go deeper

Jan 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Kamala Harris sworn in as vice president

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

In a historic inauguration, Kamala Harris was sworn in on Wednesday as the vice president of the United States.

Why it matters: Harris is the first woman, Black American and Indian American to serve as vice president in U.S. history. In addition to serving as Biden's No. 2, she will act as a critical tie-breaking vote in the 50-50 Senate.

3 hours ago - Health

Meta removes over 600 accounts linked to COVID disinformation effort by China

Facebook's corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Meta announced Wednesday it has removed over 600 Facebook and Instagram accounts linked to a Chinese influence operation that claimed the U.S. was pressuring the World Health Organization (WHO) to blame COVID on China.

Why it matters: Though Meta said the network was unsuccessful, it marks yet another COVID disinformation campaign instigated by China in an effort to discredit the U.S.

Stacey Abrams launches second campaign for Georgia governor

Photo: Eze Amos/Getty Images

Stacey Abrams, voting rights activist and former 2018 candidate for Georgia governor, is running for the position again in 2022. Abrams would be the first Black female governor in the country.

Why it matters: Abrams caught national attention in 2018 by narrowly losing an election to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in a state held firmly by the GOP for nearly two decades.