The DOJ charged a man with sending death threats to a Maryland congressman over fears of his vote being taken away

A man in Maryland was arrested after federal authorities alleged he sent death threats to a member of the US House of Representatives from the state, according to the Department of Justice.
The DOJ alleged Sidhartha Kumar Mathur, 34, left threatening messages through the representative’s office phone and website on December 10.
According to court filings, Mathur admitted to sending the voicemail but denies any involvement with the threatening webmail from the same day.
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A man in Maryland was charged in connection with death threats sent to a Maryland representative of the US House of Representatives out of fears of voter fraud, according to the Department of Justice.Sidhartha Kumar Mathur, 34, was charged with one count of threatening the life of a member of Congress, who received a threatening voicemail at a district office as well as a threatening message through the representative’s website on December 10.Following President Donald Trump’s loss to President-elect Joe Biden in the US presidential election in November, Trump and members of the Republican Party have spread baseless accusations of voter fraud and election rigging. The claims have inspired numerous “stop the steal” protests that have resulted in death threats to public officials and sometimes violence.According to an affidavit filed by Special Agent Tucker Kleitsch of the US Capitol Police, the voicemail left at the representative’s office threatened the official, who has remained unnamed, and their family.

“I just want to say, I’m going to f—ing kill you,” the voicemail said, according to the affidavit. “If you even mess with my vote, I’m going to come and I’ll slit your throat and I’ll kill your family. Okay. You shut, you f——, don’t touch my vote. You represent me. I’ll kill you.”Following the voicemail, federal authorities investigated the cell phone number used and traced it to a Verizon Wireless user with Mathur’s name. After filing an emergency disclosure request to Verizon Wireless, investigators found Mathur’s father as the holder of the account and listed Mathur as a possible account user. The DOJ also obtained Mathur’s cell phone location information from Verizon.In a voluntary interview with Kleitsch and other members of law enforcement, Mathur acknowledged the phone number in question was his and admitted to leaving the threatening voicemail. The DOJ alleges Mathur told investigators that he may have taken his statements too far, but that he does “take the threat seriously that my vote is going to be taken away.”The affidavit filed by Kleitsch also details a message sent through the representative’s congressional website with death threats similar to those mentioned in the voicemail.

“I will f—ing kill you and blow up your office if you try to take my vote away,” the voicemail said, according to the affidavit. “I know where you and your family lives. You will be ended. You’re a f—ing animal that needs to be tortured and skinned alive.”Authorities worked with Leidos Digital Solutions, an information technology company that supports the Maryland representative, to receive Mathur’s IP address from the threatening webmail. Once in possession of the IP address, the DOJ worked again with Verizon and confirmed Mathur’s father as the account subscriber with the same billing address as the phone subscription.Despite the IP address being linked to his residence and similar verbiage used in both of the threats, Mathur denied writing the threatening webmail and suggested that his internet network may be insecure.According to a press release from the DOJ, members of law enforcement seized Mathur’s phone, computer, and other electronic media in a search warrant.

Following his initial appearance in court, Mathur was released under the supervision of US Pretrial Services on the condition that he does not contact the representative again, surrenders his passport, is barred from leaving the District of Maryland, and must undergo medical or psychiatric treatments.If convicted, Mathur will face no more than 10 years in federal prison for making threats against a federal official. A second court date for Mathur has yet to be scheduled.

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