Mexican man faces Pelosi and bomb threat conviction

Image copyright Arizona Department of Corrections A US man has been convicted of threatening to “knock out” House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and of punching a police officer after being placed under arrest for…

Mexican man faces Pelosi and bomb threat conviction

Image copyright Arizona Department of Corrections

A US man has been convicted of threatening to “knock out” House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and of punching a police officer after being placed under arrest for making a bomb threat.

Stewart Williams, 31, a Canadian living in Arizona, made the threats in December 2016 as she campaigned in Tucson.

He later pleaded guilty to two federal charges.

Ms Pelosi said she had kept secret the one-in-a-million chance that Mr Williams had injured her.

The convicted man, from out West, will remain under house arrest for up to six months before he is sentenced on 10 March.

Image copyright Arizona Department of Corrections Image caption When Stewart Williams was arrested he immediately punched a police officer

Ms Pelosi, who is in her 70s, told CNN Mr Williams “was in a physically altercations” with law enforcement officials when he was taken into custody on 13 December.

The California Democrat said she had relied on police and the Secret Service to help her and her staff because she was a “public figure and my life was in their hands”.

After the incident she tweeted an image of a bottle of sardines she said Mr Williams had thrown at her as she campaigned for a Democrat.

Ms Pelosi later added in an interview with a reporter for CBS News that she had kept quiet about the one-in-a-million chance that Mr Williams had assaulted her because the assault did not happen.

She said: “I think what happened to me shows how seriously we take the threats against members of Congress and about our leaders.”

Image copyright Police Image caption Stewart Williams was placed under arrest in 2016 after a bomb threat was made in Ms Pelosi’s name

Mr Williams was indicted on 18 December for threatening to inflict bodily harm on the Arizona Democrat and alleged he made bombs.

That charge was reduced to a single count of interfering with a federal officer, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

According to the indictment, Mr Williams made the threats against Ms Pelosi while she was campaigning for Tom O’Halleran for a Democratic seat in Tucson.

On the next day he again made the threat after Ms Pelosi was declared the winner of the race. He then punched a police officer when he was placed under arrest.

No weapon was found on Mr Williams during the searches of his car and home.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption Paul Ryan spoke to Ms Pelosi last week after a family tragedy

Other charges are pending for making a bomb threat to a private residence on 11 December.

President Donald Trump’s vice-president, Mike Pence, has also faced death threats, with his daughter and their daughter-in-law currently in residence in Ohio and he has suggested he would consider moving out of Washington.

In a tweet earlier this year Mr Trump also drew a link between his own festering support and the Parkland, Florida, school shooting that occurred in February.

He wrote: “Why aren’t the FBI and Homeland Security looking into this crime of sending pipe bombs to many political figures.”

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