A Maryland man is facing federal charges after allegedly threatening a sitting member of Congress from a government-issued laptop, according to a court filing. Justin Kuchta, 39, of Annapolis, was reportedly working for the Office of the Comptroller when he made the threats.
Kuchta, a former employee of the Office of the Comptroller in Maryland, allegedly used his state-issued laptop to send the messages in July. (warning: federal affidavit contains graphic language) pic.twitter.com/iaAVSFbYfE
— Bryan P. Sears (@bpsears) September 7, 2022
A spokeswoman from the Office of the Comptroller reportedly said Kuchta’s salary was about $75,000 annually, and confirmed that he is no longer employed by the state agency.
Kuchta threatened to murder a member of Congress from Texas—reportedly Republican Senator Ted Cruz— from his home back in July.
According to court documents, the suspect had responded to an Eventbrite invitation from the office of a Texas member of Congress with the following profanity-laced message:
“Thank you for the address!!! I’m coming to murder all of you Satanist f-ckers!!! Especially the chuckle-f-ck Zodiak [sic] Killer [Member of Congress 1]!! That fat fake f-cker ass will be the first on the gallows!! SEE ALL OF YOU F-CKERS REALLY SOON!!! With my fresh militia and weapons!!! Thanks for the info f-ckers!!!”
Kuchta allegedly sent a second message four days later: WE ARE COMING FOR CHUCKLEF-CK ZODIAK [sic] KILLER [Member of Congress 1]!!! THANKS FOR THE ADDRESS AND INVITE, SEE YOU ALL SOON ENOUGH!!!”
When agents interviewed Kuchta at his Annapolis workplace, he initially denied sending the threatening messages, according to the affidavit. He later admitted to sending them from home while working on his government-issued computer, the filing said.
Kuchta was charged with one count of interstate threats and faces up to five years behind bars if convicted. He was expected to make his initial court appearance in Baltimore on Wednesday.
“You have the right to your own opinions, but not the right to threaten a federal official’s life,” U.S. Attorney Erek Barron said in a statement.
Cruz has been the target of multiple serious death threats this year.
Back in June, he was threatened by a Texas man who accused the senator and other Republicans of wanting to take away his right to vote, a false claim often made by Democrats, and most recently by Joe Biden in his deranged address to the nation.
— New York Post (@nypost) July 10, 2022
The local district attorney released transcripts of calls made by Isaac Nformangum, 22, to Cruz’s office:
“Hello and good afternoon Senator Rafael. This is one of the many Afro-American constituents of whom you are representative of here in Texas, as you currently serve from the Senate,” the man said in the phone call.
“I have just read the, uh, Texas Republican Party’s platform for this current 2022 year, uh, wherein it is apparent that your many colleagues intend … intend to have the voting right acts repealed and not reauthorized?”
Nformangum then threatened to murder all Republican lawmakers for the perceived persecution, according to the call transcript.
“Every last one of your Republican colleagues to have signed off on that platform is to be found, and is to be found and killed, be it by a bullet to the face or by the smashing of a brick in your skull,” Nformangum said.
“It is a civic duty of every American citizen or resident to see to it that every last one of your colleagues is to be killed. Killed. Be it by finding you in a public space or by trailing you to your very, by your very public homes.”
Nformangum was arrested in late June, and released on a personal recognizance bond on July 3. He failed to show in court several days later, making him a wanted fugitive. He was a arrested again later in July, and a $100,000 bond was set with a $5,000 deposit and co-surety.
Erik Kikkert, Washington state man, was arrested last spring for threatening the Senator in a series of voicemails and text messages.
— New York Post (@nypost) April 2, 2022
“I’m gonna blow your f—ing brains out dude, literally,” Kikkert said in a voicemail message, according to the federal criminal complaint.
“I’m willing to put a gun in your face. You better f—king think about it,” he said in another voicemail, according to the federal court documents.
“Ted Cruz is going to call me or ill (sic) end up in his f—ing face with an assault rifle,” read one text message cited by the feds.
Kikkert, a convicted felon and military veteran, was taken into custody on March 31.
Cruz has had to beef up security due to the persistence of violent threats made against him.
The senator reportedly spent $364,000 in campaign funds on personal security in 2021, after federal regulators okayed the practice.