The Las Vegas resident allegedly attempted to intimidate two lawmakers and their relatives
A federal grand jury has indicted a man accused of targeting two US senators and their families with anti-Semitic threats, prosecutors said, alleging that the suspect left several menacing voicemails at the office of one legislator.
John Anthony Miller, 43, was charged on three counts last week by a grand jury, including one for threatening a federal official and two others for “influencing, impeding, or retaliating against a federal official by threatening a family member,” according to the US Attorney’s Office in Nevada.
“On October 17, 2023, Miller left numerous threatening voicemails at the office of a United States Senator,” and “threatened to assault and murder the United States Senator,” prosecutors said in a release on Wednesday.
Just days later, the defendant also allegedly threatened to “assault and murder a member of the immediate family of two United States Senators,” for which he was arrested on October 26.
Although the Justice Department did not name the lawmakers in question, Democratic Senator Jacky Rosen later confirmed to the Associated Press that she and her family were among those targeted.
Miller allegedly left threatening voicemails for Rosen, and used “anti-Semitic slurs” when addressing the Jewish senator, the AP reported, citing court records. He was also said to have visited a federal courthouse in Las Vegas on October 18 in an attempt to confront Rosen in person, but was turned away by security. A criminal complaint said Miller then became furious and began shouting threats against Israelis outside the courthouse.
“Threats against public officials should be taken seriously,” a spokesperson for Rosen said at the time of Miller’s arrest last month. “Senator Rosen trusts the US Attorney’s office and federal law enforcement to handle this matter.”
Miller remains in custody, and is set for a trial in January. He faces up to a decade behind bars if found guilty.
The alleged threats against lawmakers came amid rising fears of anti-Semitic incidents due to a violent flare-up in the Middle East, where Israel is waging war against the Palestinian militant group Hamas in retaliation for the deadly October 7 terrorist attack. A surge in crimes targeting Jews has been reported across the Western world during the latest round of fighting, including a number of bomb threats against synagogues and other Jewish institutions.