A Michigan man has been charged with threatening to assassinate President Donald Trump, allegedly saying he would blow his “white brains out” in a series of rants to federal agents.
According to a criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit, the accused is James Anthony Jackson, a professional truck driver who in the last year has threatened Trump, his relatives and a woman he met online.
The U.S. Secret Service started investigating Jackson on Oct. 12, when Jackson allegedly called the agency’s Detroit and Chicago field offices and said, “better watch Donald Trump ass … ya’ll think someone playing … I am going to blow white brains out … his mother (expletive) head.”
“It appeared as if Jackson was spoofing his phone number,” Secret Service agent Matthew Lariviere wrote in an affidavit.
Neither Jackson’s hometown nor age were provided.
According to court records, on Oct. 18, Jackson made more nuisance calls to Detroit’s Secret Service office, saying “why ya’ll messing with my wires” and “I’m going to blow Trump’s brains out.”
The phone number he was calling from had a 616 area code, which is western Michigan. It was traced to James Jackson Profit Group LLC in Grand Rapids. The address was for an outreach group that Jackson had last visited on Oct. 6, asking about mail services, court records show.
According to court records, cell phone data showed that Jackson frequently called a specific phone number with a 517 area code that belonged to a woman he met on an online meeting site. He started communicating with her on Oct. 18 and started to harass and threaten her as well, telling her he was “going to cut off her head and parade it in front of the White House for Trump” and that he was going to “Kill President Trump.”
On Oct. 20, a U.S. Secret Service agent spoke with Jackson’s uncle, who stated that “neither he nor his family has spoken with Jackson over a year.” The uncle also said that Jackson has been calling family members, cursing and threating them, court records show.
That same day, the federal agent interviewed Jackson’s sister and played a recording for her. She confirmed that it was her brother’s voice — the same one that threatened the president’s life. Jackson was arrested in Idaho.
An attorney of record is not yet known for Jackson. It is not clear from court records if he has been arrested. He is charged with threatening the President of the United States, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, and faces a detention hearing on Friday.
The U.S. Attorneys office declined comment, noting the case is still evolving.
Tresa Baldas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Tbaldas
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