A Maine man was sentenced to nearly six years in prison for threatening U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, the governor of Maine, an Iowa Republican, and others.
Michael R. Thomas, 52, will also serve three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to charges including threatening members of Congress, interstate stalking, possessing a firearm after being convicted of a felony, and mailing a threatening communication.
Court records show that Thomas had sent letters to three major political figures and threatened to kill them – Lieberman, Maine Gov. Paul LePage, and U.S. Rep. Steve King, an outspoken conservative Republican from Iowa who supports gun rights and whose controversial comments about Democrat Barack Obama were disavowed in 2008 by the presidential campaign of Republican John McCain – a friend of Lieberman.
\”You are a treasonous traitor and should be shot dead,\’\’ Thomas wrote in a letter to Lieberman, according to the U.S. Attorney\’s office in Maine. \”It is only a matter of time until you receive constitutional justice at the point of a gun.\’\’
Lieberman\’s office declined to comment Thursday. Lieberman will be stepping down in early January from the U.S. Senate after 24 years of service.
The threatening letter to Maine\’s governor, according to The Bangor Daily News, stated, \”I did not vote for you, and as far as I\’m concerned, you are not my governor. Now I\’m ready to vote with a bullet. Yes. Thank God for our Second Amendment remedies. I\’ve got you in my crosshairs. … As far as I\’m concerned, you are the devil himself and I will put a bullet or two in you, if it\’s the last thing I do. I\’m willing to sacrifice my life to make sure you die, bastard. I will strike when you least expect it.\’\’
Thomas\’s defense attorney said that his client, who has been held in custody since March 2011, was \”suffering from a multitude of mental disorders, including paranoia, delusion and social anxiety,\’\’ the newspaper said.
A published report said that Thomas was captured after he had licked a stamp for one of the anonymous letters sent to the governor, and a forensic DNA analyst in Maine matched it in a federal database.
The prison sentence was handed down by a federal judge for a series of other incidents that did not involve Lieberman. When agents were searching Thomas\’s house in Portland, Maine with a warrant, they found a .45-caliber pistol in Thomas\’s bedroom. That led to an additional charge because federal law prohibits Thomas from owning a gun because he had been previously convicted of a felony charge of stalking in Massachusetts.
In addition, officials said that Thomas had anonymously sent threatening letters from 2006 to 2011 to a Danvers, Massachusetts man and others.
\”Some of the letters threatened to harm the victim and his family, and other letters falsely claimed that the victim had engaged in criminal activity,\’\’ the U.S. Attorney\’s office said.
Thomas had also threatened Congressman King, who made controversial comments about Obama.
According to published reports, King said, \”I don\’t want to disparage anyone because of their race, their ethnicity, their name – whatever their religion their father might have been, I\’ll just say this: When you think about the optics of a Barack Obama potentially getting elected President of the United States — I mean, what does this look like to the rest of the world? What does it look like to the world of Islam? I will tell you that, if he is elected president, then the radical Islamists, the al-Qaida, the radical Islamists and their supporters, will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on September 11 because they will declare victory in this War on Terror. Additionally, his middle name (Hussein) does matter. It matters because they read a meaning into that in the rest of the world. [...] If he were strong on national defense, and said \”I\’m going to go over there and we\’re going to fight and we\’re going to win, we\’ll come home with a victory,\” that\’s different. But that\’s not what he said. They will be dancing in the streets if he\’s elected president. That has a chilling aspect on how difficult it will be to ever win this Global War on Terror.\’\’