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Texas man charged in threat to kill Congresswoman Maxine Waters

The same man made numerous threats to two other congresswomen of color and a Latina journalist in Houston, prosecutors said.

LOS ANGELES (CN) — A Texas man has been charged with threatening to kill U.S. Representative Maxine Waters in a series of profane and racist voicemails left last year at her local office in Hawthorne, California.

Brian Michael Gaherty, 60, of Houston faces four counts of making threats in interstate communications and four counts of threatening a United States official, according to a statement Friday from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles. If convicted, he faces as long as 10 years in prison for each count of threatening a U.S. official.

 “Threats to harm and kill an elected official impact the intended victim, her entire staff and every constituent who is not receiving services because the elected official is dealing with the security threat,” U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada said in the statement. “The entire Justice Department is dedicated to protecting American democracy, which includes combating threats that terrorize officials who have been elected to serve the public.”

A lawyer representing Gaherty in Texas court proceedings after his arrest didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the charges.

Waters, 84. is a Democrat who has since 1991 represented a district that includes a large part of South LA and neighboring cities, including Hawthorne, Inglewood, and Torrance.

On Nov. 16, 2022, an unidentified person called her office in Hawthorne from a Houston phone number and told a member of her staff that he was going to assault Waters. A subsequent investigation by the Capitol Police showed that the same number had been used to leave four threatening voicemails for the congresswoman between August and November.

In an Aug. 8 voicemail, Gaherty — who was identified as the caller — said "Imma cut your black ass throat, (expletive)." He repeated similar racist slurs and violent threats in all four of the voicemails, according to the criminal complaint filed in support of his arrest last week.

Gaherty also had been leaving threatening phone messages last year for a Latina news reporter in Houston and for two other U.S. congresswomen of color as recently as February, the Capitol Police investigation revealed.

Investigators say he left 10 messages for another unidentified congresswoman, whom he called "a Latino whore." When a Capitol Police investigator called his number in October regarding those threats, he continued leaving messages for this congresswoman, calling her a snitch and making numerous racist and misogynistic comments.

Gaherty was arrested on April 13 at his residence in and made a court appearance on April 17. He was ordered released on $100,000 bond, according to Friday's statement.

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Categories / Criminal, Government, National, Politics

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