Virginia Man Arrested For Violent Threats Against Democratic Senator Mark Warner
A man from Virginia Beach, Virginia, was arrested last week after he left several threatening voicemail messages to Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat who represents that state.
Anthony Butkiewicz III was charged last week on one count to threaten to assault Warner, with intent to impede, intimidate, and interfere with his duties as a United States Senator, according to reporting from WSLS.
In one of the voicemails, Butkiewicz challenged Warner to “stand face to face” with him, telling the senator, “I will punch you in the jaw!”
Butkiewicz was apparently well aware of what could happen to him for making the threats. “And you can lock me up and put me in jail, my friend! I ain’t got a problem with it,” he said.
According to court documents, Butkiewicz also suggested he would get D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo to help him with his attacks on the senator.
“Malvo is back my friend, and we have a bullet for inside your ear from the state of people in Virginia,” Butkiewicz said in a separate message, per reporting from NBC 12 in Richmond.
Butkiewicz reportedly made these threats and more against Warner “based on his disagreement with Senator Warner’s policies, including on funding for the military, U.S. involvement in overseas conflicts, the Southern Border, and abortion,” court documents read.
WATCH: Sen. Mark Warner steps out of closed-door Michael Cohen hearing to discuss what he's learned. #MTPDaily@MarkWarner: "When this investigation started I said it may be the most important thing I'm involved in…. Nothing that've I heard today dissuades me from that view." pic.twitter.com/S43hmZmQch
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) February 26, 2019
Warner sits on the Select Committee for Intelligence, where he serves as the ranking chair. That committee is currently responsible for conducting an oversight investigation into Russia’s interference with the U.S. elections in 2016, including looking into whether President Donald Trump had any knowledge or role in coordination with the Kremlin.
Reporting on Butkiewicz did not indicate whether his threats were made based on any possible support for Trump. However, in recent days the president has stepped up his vitriolic attacks on Democrats on issues like abortion and the border wall, two subjects that Butkiewicz was deeply passionate about.
Just last week, around the same time Butkiewicz was arrested, Trump chastised Democratic officials with errant comments about their stances on abortion, Newsweek reported. “The Democrat position on abortion is now so extreme that they don’t mind executing babies AFTER birth,” Trump wrote.
Reporting from the New York Times indicated that Trump’s comments on abortion were politically charged, and highly misleading.