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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Man Arrested for Allegedly Threatening Democratic Rep. McDermott -

Jim McDermottImage via WikipediaMan Arrested for Allegedly Threatening Democratic Rep. McDermott -

The Justice Department filed a criminal complaint in Seattle federal court Wednesday against a California man for allegedly making threatening phone calls to U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott's office.

Charles Habermann, a Palm Springs, Calif. man, allegedly made two "expletive-laden, threatening phone calls" to the Seattle office of Mr. McDermott (D., Wash.). The 32-year-old Mr. Habermann allegedly threatened to kill Mr. McDermott, his friends and his family and to put the congressman "in the trash."

Authorities said Mr. Habermann was arrested Wednesday. Neither he nor an attorney for him could be reached for comment.

The charge against Mr. Habermann comes only days after Saturday's shootings in Tucson, Ariz., in which six people were killed and 14 wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head. Jared Loughner has been charged in Phoenix federal court with murder and attempted murder in that attack, which authorities have said they believe was aimed at Rep. Giffords. She was holding an open meeting for constituents at a shopping center in Tucson.

In the complaint filed in federal court, the government said that in an interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in December, Mr. Haberman admitted to leaving threatening voice-mail messages for Rep. McDermott. He said he had been drinking beforehand, according to the complaint, and that he wanted politicians to know he was unhappy with how they were spending taxpayer money and was trying to scare them.

Mr. Haberman also allegedly said he left a message with a congresswoman, whom the complaint only identified as "Congresswoman C.P." He also acknowledged leaving a threatening message in 2010 for a California state legislator, the filing said.

Mr. Habermann said he never intended to harm anyone, according to the complaint.

If convicted of threatening a federal official, Mr. Habermann faces as many as 10 years in prison, the government said.

Write to John R. Emshwiller at

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