Mon. Feb 26th, 2024
Man charged with threatening to kill Vivek Ramaswamy is indicted over threats to other candidates


PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — A New Hampshire man has been indicted after threatening text messages were allegedly sent to three presidential candidates, including Republicans Vivek Ramaswamy and Chris Christie.

Tyler Anderson of Dover, New Hampshire, was charged with three counts of transmitting interstate threats stemming from text messages sent to three presidential campaigns, the Justice Department said in a news release.

Anderson, 30, faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each charge, the Justice Department said.

The text messages, dating back to November, included a threat to “impale” and “disembowel” one candidate, prosecutors said. The candidate was not named in court documents.

On Dec. 6, Anderson allegedly threatened a second candidate after receiving a campaign text message. In a flurry of messages, Anderson said he would “blow that bastard’s head off!” and warned that he hoped the campaign had “the stamina for a mass shooting,” according to court documents.

A criminal complaint against Anderson includes a redacted screenshot of his alleged response to the campaign text message. While the court document did not name the candidate, the screenshot appears to match a text message sent by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s campaign that was viewed by NBC News.

A campaign spokesperson confirmed to NBC News that Christie’s campaign had received the threats.

“We appreciate and are thankful for the Department of Justice and law enforcement moving quickly to address these threat,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

On Dec. 8, Anderson responded to a text blast from a third presidential campaign, prosecutors said. In that message, Anderson allegedly referred to a rally promoted by the campaign in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, as providing “another opportunity for me to blow his brains out!”

Anderson also threatened in a follow up message to “kill everyone who attends” the campaign event, according to court documents.

While the campaign is not identified in court documents, NBC News previously reported that Ramaswamy’s campaign alerted law enforcement after receiving a threat matching the one cited by the Justice Department.

When reached for comment Thursday, Ramaswamy’s campaign reiterated a statement it issued after Anderson made his initial appearance in federal court last week.

“We are grateful to law enforcement for their swiftness and professionalism in handling this matter and pray for the safety of all Americans,” spokesperson Tricia McLaughlin said.

Attorney General Merrick Garland pointed to an “increase in threats of violence” against public officials and candidates for public office in a statement Thursday.

“I have made clear that these types of illegal threats undermine the function of our democracy,” Garland said. “We will not tolerate illegal threats of violence directed at public officials or those seeking public office.”

A federal defender listed in court documents as Anderson’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday night.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com



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