An Alaska man threatened to “kidnap and insult” a United States senator, the Capitol Police told a federal judge, in the latest example of elected US officials facing direct threats to their physical safety.
The threat was made on or about Sept. 28 by email through the senator’s website, according to an affidavit submitted to a federal judge in Alaska on Friday by Austin Hunter, a special agent with the US Capitol Police.
The affidavit, which requested an arrest warrant for the Alaska man, used pronouns suggesting that the senator he had threatened was a woman. But it did not name her de ella or the state she represents.
If the senator was from Alaska, she could only have been Lisa Murkowski, a Republican. Representatives for Senator Murkowski declined to comment on Wednesday.
The man accused of making the threat, Arther Charles Graham, was arrested on Oct. 30 in Kenai, Alaska, the warrant said. It cited the offense as interstate communications with a threat to kidnap and insult. An initial hearing was scheduled for Friday in federal court in Anchorage, court documents said.
Mr. Graham told FBI agents who visited him at his home in Kenai in early October that he had threatened the senator by email, according to the affidavit. Mr. Graham told the senator he would “hunt you down, cut the flesh off your body and wear your skin like clothes,” he said.
Mr. Graham, 46, did not respond to requests for comment sent overnight to the phone number and email address that were listed for him in the affidavit. A dispatcher with the Capitol Police said by telephone early Wednesday that no one at the agency was immediately available for comment.
Since the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021, violent political speech in the United States has increasingly taken the form of direct threats against members of Congress on both parties.
In one case, an Alaska man who pleaded guilty last year to threatening to murder Alaska’s two US senators — Senator Murkowski and Senator Dan Sullivan, also a Republican — was sentenced to 32 months in prison and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.