Man charged with voting-related threats against House member

Politics

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Federal authorities on Wednesday arrested a man accused of threatening to kill a member of Congress from Maryland earlier this month if the lawmaker tried to ”mess” with the man’s vote.

Sidhartha Kumar Mathur, 34, of West Friendship, Maryland, was charged Monday in a criminal complaint that was unsealed after his arrest. The charge he faces, making threats against a federal official, carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Court filings don’t name the U.S. House of Representatives member who was the target of a threatening voicemail and message sent through the lawmaker’s website. Marcia Murphy, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Robert Hur’s office, said she can’t identify the House member.

All eight of Maryland’s current House members are men. Seven are Democrats. Rep. Andy Harris is the lone Republican and the only member of the state’s congressional delegation who has supported President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election based on unfounded claims that the election was rigged, the Baltimore Sun has reported.

On Dec. 8, Harris was one of 126 House Republicans who signed a brief supporting a Texas lawsuit that sought to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s victory. The U.S. Supreme Courtrejected the lawsuit.

On Dec. 10, a man whom authorities believe to be Mathur left a threatening voicemail at the House member’s Maryland district office. “If you even mess with my vote, I’m going to come and I’ll slit your throat and I’ll kill your family,” the man said, according to a U.S. Capitol Police special agent’s affidavit.

That same evening, a message sent through the House member’s website threatened to blow up the lawmaker’s office “if you try to take my vote away.”

Mathur denied sending the web message but told investigators that he left the threatening voicemail “out of anger,” the agent’s affidavit says.

“Mathur acknowledged that he may have taken his statements too far and indicated that his statements were conditional,” the agent wrote.

Investigators seized Mathur’s phone, computer and other electronic media when they searched his home on Wednesday.

U.S. Magistrate Judge DiGirolamo agreed Wednesday to free Mathur from custody under the court’s supervision.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers, who is prosecutin

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