Man With Assault Rifle Charged With Threatening Pelosi, Officials Say
A man who had an assault rifle was charged with threatening Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, after he traveled to Washington for the pro-Trump rally on Wednesday and sent a text message saying he would put “a bullet in her noggin on Live TV,” the federal authorities said.
Federal agents said the man, Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr., had been staying at a Holiday Inn in Washington and had weapons in his camper-style trailer, including a Glock handgun, a pistol, a Tavor X95 assault rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
Mr. Meredith was charged with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce, possession of an unregistered firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition, according to court records. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer.
The Department of Justice said on Friday that he was one of 13 people who had been charged in federal court after a violent pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol on Wednesday and disrupted Congress as it was certifying the results of the presidential election.
Those charged included conspiracy theorists, Proud Boys, elected officials and everyday Americans.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Mr. Meredith had erected a billboard in 2018 in Acworth, Ga., that read, “#QANON” along with the name of his business, Car Nutz Car Wash.
The QAnon conspiracy theory, which the F.B.I. has labeled a potential domestic terrorism threat, accuses Democrats and some Republicans of being beholden to a cabal of bureaucrats, pedophiles and Satanists. Many followers believe that President Trump is secretly battling a criminal band of sex traffickers.
Mr. Meredith told The Journal-Constitution in 2018 that he had put up the QAnon billboard because he was “a patriot among the millions who love this country.”
Mr. Meredith, whose current hometown was unavailable, told federal agents that he had been traveling from Colorado and had arrived too late for Wednesday’s rally in Washington.
“I’m trying but currently stuck in Cambridge, OH with trailer lights being fixed,” he wrote in one of several text messages to friends, according to the F.B.I.
In another text message, accompanied by a purple devil emoji, he said he had “a ton of 5.56 armor piercing ammo.” In other text messages, he referred to Ms. Pelosi with misogynistic slurs and threatened to run her over, the F.B.I. said.
“I predict that within 12 days, many in our country will die,” Mr. Meredith wrote, according to the F.B.I.
Seamus Hughes contributed reporting.
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