A Chicago-area man was arrested on Tuesday after threatening to kill Democrats at President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, the Department of Justice announced.
Louis Capriotti, 45, is accused of leaving a voicemail for a House member from New Jersey on Dec. 29, saying that if people “think that Joe Biden is going to put his hand on the Bible and walk into that f—-ng White House on Jan. 20, they’re sadly f—-ng mistaken,” according to a criminal complaint.
“[W]e will surround the motherf—-ng White House and we will kill any motherf—-ng Democrat that steps on the motherf—-ng lawn,” Capriotti allegedly said, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court.
If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison on charges of transmitting a threat in interstate commerce, according to a Justice Department news release.
Capriotti, of Chicago Heights, Ill., a suburb south of Chicago, has recorded “disturbing, anonymous” voicemails for members of Congress multiple times since October 2019, according to the complaint. In the Dec. 29 voicemail, he also threatened violence against a former New Jersey governor, according to the complaint.
“[His] messages, in almost every instance, included profanity, along with derogatory remarks concerning the race, religion, political affiliation, or physical appearance of certain Members and others,” the complaint said.
The arrest on Tuesday came after Trump-supporting rioters stormed the Capitol last week, delaying the certification of Biden’s Electoral College victory.
For months President Donald Trump has called for the election results to be overturned, citing baseless accusations of election fraud. He spoke at a rally on Wednesday before the rioters charged into the Capitol, saying that “you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”
On Tuesday, he didn’t back away from his comments, calling his speech “totally appropriate.”