California man arrested for threatening to kill a congressman
January 12, 2011
A California man accused of threatening to kill Seattle Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) following the tax cut debate has been arrested and is expected to make his initial appearance today at 3 p.m. in federal court in Riverside, California, according to the Department of Justice.
Charles Turner Habermann, 32, of Palm Springs allegedly made two expletive-laden, threatening phone calls to McDermott’s office on Dec. 9, 2010.
In the first call recorded on the answering machine, Habermann threatens to kill the congressman, his family and his friends in what prosecutors said was an effort to influence McDermott’s vote on the tax cut proposal in December 2010.
“He advocates stealing people’s money to give it to losers,” Habermann said in the message. “That’s a criminal conspiracy to commit fraud, okay. That is what the majority of the Democratic Party engage in every day, of every week of every f****** year, because they’re scum bags.
“And you let that f****** scum bag know, that if he ever f**** around with my money, ever the f**** again, I’ll f****** kill him. I’ll round them up, I’ll kill them, I’ll kill his friends, I’ll kill his family, I will kill everybody he f****** knows, alright.”
In the second message he says he talks about hunting down the congressman and paying someone to kill him:
“I will f**** hunt that guy down and I will f***** get rid of him.” Habermann said in the second message. “I will pay people…. I hate Jim McDermott. I hate your friends, I hate his family, I hate his kids. I could round them all up, you know, I could look for them.”
Habermann admitted to making the calls, according to the court complaint.
Threatening a federal official is punishable by up to ten years in prison.
“We are blessed to live in a country that guarantees and protects the freedom to disagree with our government and speak our minds,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “That protection, however, does not extend to threats or acts of violence.
“Those actions are intended to silence debate, not further it. They instill fear not just in the immediate victims, but in many who might hold the same views or take the same course. Such threats are crimes, and the individuals who make them must be held accountable,” Durkan added.