A man from Stuart, Florida is in jail after being accused of threatening to harm the children of Republican Rep. Brian Mast (Fla.).
Mast, who represents the state's 18th Congressional District has three young children, all under the age of 8. The arrested man, Laurence Wayne Key, is facing federal charges for the offense of "communication of a threat to kidnap or injure a person." He threatened Mast’s children in response to the Trump administration's immigration policies, according to NBC affiliate WPTV.
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A criminal complaint alleges Key called Mast’s Washington, D.C. office and told an intern he would "find the Congressman’s kids and kill them." He continued, "If you’re going to separate kids at the border, I’m going to kill his kids. Don’t try to find me because you won’t."
The intern reported the phone call to a supervisor, and the FBI arrested Key soon after the alleged call to Mast’s office. Key told the FBI he did not threaten to kill Mast’s kids, but said the congressman should be separated from his kids if he supports President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. The criminal complaint notes he admitted "to saying something about Congressman Mast never seeing his kids again."
The intern who answered the call told the FBI he is "150% certain" that Key used the word ‘kill’ with reference to the kids.
Key is politically active, frequently volunteering for local Democratic Party activities and Planned Parenthood.
The congressman is an Army veteran who received the Bronze Star Medal and a Purple Heart for his service. While serving in Afghanistan in 2010, he lost both of his legs and a finger as a result of an IED explosion.
Mast’s maternal grandparents legally immigrated to the United States from Mexico. He recently issued a statement to a Florida newspaper regarding the administration’s immigration policies.
"It is our duty as an American government to deal compassionately with any child from any nation just as it is the responsibility of foreign families seeking asylum in the U.S. to choose only legal means to enter our nation so they can avoid family disruption," the statement read. He added that he is "confident this process will be improved."