A Pennsylvania man has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges that he threatened two members of Congress: Representative Katherine Clark of Melrose and North Carolina Senator Richard Burr, federal prosecutors said .
Harry Miller, 62, of Ross Township, Pa., allegedly called Clark’s Malden office in August 2019 and said he was willing to abolish government by spilling blood and killing four or five Democrats, including Clark, the US attorney’s office for the Western District of Pennsylvania said in a statement Friday.
Miller also threatened violence against Black people “to keep them in line if he had to,” prosecutors said. Before ending the call, Miller called a staffer an offensive name and said the staffer would die in his forthcoming civil war.
“Threatening to injure members of Congress is a crime, not protected speech,” US Attorney Scott Brady said in the statement. “As the events of the past year show, there are individuals intent on harming our public servants and law enforcement. We will vigorously and proactively investigate, disrupt, and prosecute those individuals when they violate federal law.”
Clark has served in the House since 2013, following her win in a special election, and was elected assistant speaker last November, making her the fourth-ranking member in the House of Representatives and the most powerful congresswoman in state history.
Following the indictment, Clark thanked the US Capitol Police, who investigated the incident with the FBI, for keeping congressional staff members safe.
“Our staff are dedicated public servants who shouldn’t have to endure threats and abuse while working hard every day to help our constituents,” she said in a statement Sunday. “We must free our democracy from violence and hate.”
Several months after contacting Clark’s office, Miller made calls to Burr’s Washington, D.C., office on Jan. 7, 2020, according to prosecutors. In the first call, Miller allegedly said he was going to put a bullet in Burr’s head. In the second call, which was transferred to a person in Tennessee, Miller said he was willing to shoot four or five senators in the head, prosecutors said.
Miller faces a total maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for his three counts of threatening to injure other individuals using interstate commerce, officials said. He appeared in court Friday and was released on a $25,000 unsecured bond.