Arizona Man Arrested for Threatening Congresswoman Over Trump Support

FBI: Suspect told Martha McSally her days 'were numbered'

Martha McSally / AP

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The FBI has arrested an Arizona man on suspicion of threatening to shoot Rep. Martha McSally (R., Ariz.) for her congressional votes in support of President Trump.

Tuscon Unified School District employee Steve Martan, 58, was arrested for allegedly threatening to assault and murder McSally in three different, expletive-filled messages left on her congressional office voicemail on May 2 and May 10, the Arizona Daily Star reported Monday.

A criminal complaint for the case was filed in U.S. District Court in Tucson on May 12 and detailed the content of each voicemail.

"Yeah this is for Martha McSally," Martan allegedly said in the first message, before saying that he wanted to wring the lawmaker's neck.

"You need to get back where you came from and leave Arizona," he added.

In the second message, Martan indicated that he wanted to shoot the congresswoman right between the eyes, saying he could not wait to "pull the trigger."

"Be careful when you come back to Tucson cause we hate you here, OK," Martan said.

In the third recording, Martan allegedly threatened that McSally's "days were numbered."

Federal agents found Martan at his home with the cell phone he used to make the threatening calls. Martan told authorities the reason he made the calls was because he was upset over McSally's votes in support of Trump.

"He was venting frustrations with congressional votes in support of the president of the United States," according to the complaint.

McSally’s office responded on Monday to the threats with a statement from District Director C.J. Karamargin, the Washington Post reported.

"Our community should be deeply disturbed by these threats of violence," Karamargin said in a statement. "Threatening to shoot a member of Congress between the eyes and stating that her days are numbered is sickening. It is especially sickening here in southeastern Arizona because we know, perhaps better than any congressional district in the country, what happens when threats of violence become acts of violence."

Karamargin was previously the communications director for former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D.). In 2011, Giffords was seriously wounded from a gunshot wound to the head in a shooting in which six people were killed and 13 others wounded. Giffords resigned from Congress as she recovered from her injuries.

"The January 2011 shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was followed by a national discussion about the importance of civility and respectfulness in our public debates. The vicious threats made against Congresswoman McSally are a sobering reminder of just how important that discussion continues to be," Karamargin said. "We can disagree about issues and policies. We should have robust debates about the future of our country. But threats of violence cross a clear line. These threats against Congresswoman McSally should be a wake-up call for us all."

Authorities released Martan on his own recognizance, but he is not allowed to leave his home unless it is to go to work or attend his court mandated mental health treatment program. He must wear an electronic monitoring device and is prohibited from contacting McSally's office and prohibited from owning a firearm.

Andrew Kugle   Email | Full Bio | RSS
Andrew Kugle is the assistant social media editor for the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2013. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, he worked as a Staff/Press Assistant for South Dakota Congresswoman Kristi Noem. Andrew is from De Pere, Wisconsin and lives in D.C. His Twitter handle is @AndrewJKugle. You can reach him at kugle@freebeacon.com.

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