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