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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

Updated Nov 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The top Republicans who have acknowledged Biden as president-elect

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Some elected Republicans are breaking ranks with President Trump to acknowledge that President-elect Biden won the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: The relative sparsity of acknowledgements highlights Trump's lasting power in the GOP, as his campaign moves to file multiple lawsuits alleging voter fraud in key swing states — despite the fact that there have been no credible allegations of any widespread fraud anywhere in the U.S.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
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New deals in the COVID economy

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COVID-19 is the macro horror of our lifetimes, and has destroyed or severely damaged countless businesses. But, like with most horribles, it also has created some opportunities.

Driving the news: Merck this morning announced an agreement to buy OncoImmune, a Maryland-based biotech that showed promising late-stage clinical results for a therapy that treats severe and critical coronavirus cases.

2 hours ago - Technology

Biden's openings for tech progress

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images 

Item No. 1 on President-elect Joe Biden's day-one tech agenda, controlling the flood of misinformation online, offers no fast fixes — but other tech issues facing the new administration hold out opportunities for quick action and concrete progress.

What to watch: Closing the digital divide will be a high priority, as the pandemic has exposed how many Americans still lack reliable in-home internet connections and the devices needed to work and learn remotely.