On Wednesday, the Washington Examiner reported that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is feuding with a federal prosecutor over the decision not to charge a man who left a threatening voice message for his office.
“Gaetz, you pathetic piece of sh*t,” said the voicemail. “Do you know that I could blow your f**king head clean off your shoulders from over a mile away. Watch your back, b*tch. You pathetic little piece of sh*t. You got your head so far up Trump’s ass, I could still take it off your shoulders. F**k you Gaetz. I’m coming after you, b*tch,” the message said.
While the message is horrible, and Gaetz clearly justified in wanting the authorities to investigate whether there was a credible murder threat, his response when the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California determined there was not a threat was to go on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show and accuse the prosecutor of a “double standard” against conservatives — which would be a bit strange if true, as the U.S. Attorney, David Anderson, was appointed by President Donald Trump.
When you have to have fidelity to some concern that someone’s going to kill you, kill your family, or harm you at a public event, it erodes the representation that every member of Congress should be able to provide their district, regardless of their viewpoint. pic.twitter.com/Tz834LazVx
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) July 17, 2019
“This Office prosecutes threat cases against public officials when law enforcement has determined there is a credible possibility that the threat could be carried out and the case otherwise meets our standards for prosecution,” said Anderson’s spokesman, Abraham Simmons. “In assessing such threat cases, this Office does not take into consideration the politics of the public official who has been threatened. This Office prosecutes threat cases without discrimination on the basis of the public official’s viewpoint or any other impermissible basis.”
Gaetz, for his part, is fuming about Anderson’s “deeply flawed read of the criminal code,” arguing that the law does not make violent threats against congressmen illegal just because FBI officials do not believe the threat is credible.
He also characterized the Washington Examiner’s original reporting of the story as “bullsh*t” and complained, “You didn’t bother to reach out … Even when left wing sites smear me, they at least seek my comment on the smears.”