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Two men charged for threatening Michigan Democrats over presidential election results

Two men are facing criminal charges for allegedly threatening Michigan Democrats over the presidential election results.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced charges were filed against a 62-year-old Harrison man and 43-year-old Georgia man, neither of whom were arraigned as of Tuesday afternoon. Both cases allegedly involve threats motivated by President Joe Biden’s victory in the November presidential election.

“It is unacceptable and illegal to intimidate or threaten public officials,” Nessel said in a statement. “To those who think they can do so by hiding behind a keyboard or phone, we will find you and we will prosecute you, to the fullest extent of the law. No elected official should have to choose between doing their job and staying safe.”

The Harrison man faces three misdemeanor charges for malicious use of a telecommunications service provider, punishable by six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. The man allegedly left threatening messages for U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, and made threatening statements in a phone conversation with a staff member of U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Holly.

According to the Attorney General’s office, he left a Jan. 5 voicemail message for Stabenow warning that he joined a militia and “there would be violence if the presidential election results were not changed.” He allegedly identified himself as a Republican and reiterated the threats and other vulgar words in an email.

The Harrison man allegedly threatened Slotkin in a phone call on April 30, 2020, and later spoke with a staff member from Slotkin’s office for more than an hour on Jan. 19. He “claimed people will die and used violent references,” during the second phone call, according to the Attorney General’s office.

Slotkin said this is not the first time her office has been targeted by violent threats. In a statement, Slotkin said Americans should not normalize this kind of coercive behavior.

“I want to make clear that law enforcement will be involved in each and every threat we receive,” Slotkin said in a statement. “While I can’t comment on the specifics of an ongoing case, there are two broad points that are clear: Myself and my colleagues in elected office, particularly women, are unfortunately no strangers to violent, threatening calls and comments –– and it has got to stop.”

The charges against Stabenow and the April 2020 call to Slotkin were filed in Livingston County District Court. The charge involving the second call to Slotkin was filed in Clare County District Court.

A man from Douglas, Georgia is charged with one count of malicious use of service provided by a telecommunications service provider, punishable by a six-month misdemeanor and $1,000 fine. The charge against was filed in Wayne County’s 36th District Court in Detroit.

According to the Attorney General’s office, the man allegedly left a threatening voicemail message for Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens. He allegedly accused “activist judges” of making rulings that caused Biden to win the election.

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