Federal authorities have arrested a Philadelphia man and charged him with threatening to kill House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and his family.
Norman Leboon will be charged with two federal counts: threatening to kill a member of Congress and interfering with his federal duties, and posting video online containing such threats. He is scheduled to appear in federal district court in Philadelphia on Monday afternoon.
The arrest is the most serious in a string of threats of violence against lawmakers in wake of the divisive health care vote. At least 10 Democrats along with a handful of Republicans, including Cantor, reported threats of violence during the past week.
“At this time, the congressman will have no further comment on this threat or the investigation, and asks that inquiries be directed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring said. “The congressman is deeply grateful for, and would like to dearly thank all local and federal law enforcement involved, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Attorney’s Office[s] in Virginia and Philadelphia, U.S. Capitol Police and the Henrico Police Department in Virginia.”
In a video posted on YouTube, Leboon said Cantor was a “liar, you’re a Lucifer, you’re a pig, a greedy [expletive] pig.” He also seemed to refer to a bullet found in Cantor’s office last week and said it will be placed in his head. Richmond Police had originally discounted the bullet as a stray. It is unclear whether the FBI will expand the investigation into the Richmond bullet.
If I wanted to be unfair, and point out how accusations of violence could be generalized to a particular political party–like many a commentator on the port side appears to be doing nowadays–I might point out this:
Leboon does not appear to be particularly politically active, but he does appear to have donated to President Barack Obama. On back-to-back days in June 2008, a man who called himself “Norman Leboon Sr” from Philadelphia gave $255 and $250 to Obama for America. . . .
But of course, I don’t want to be unfair. So I won’t generalize.