A deluge of violent messages: How a surge in threats to public officials could disrupt American democracy
By the time the FBI first showed up at Kevin Patrick Smith’s home in early February, he’d already left dozens of threatening voice messages for US Senator Jon Tester.
“You stand toe to toe with me, I rip your head off. You die.”
FBI agents admonished Smith – who lived about a mile from the Montana Democrat’s office in Kalispell – to stop the threats, which were making the senator’s staff members afraid to come to work. But the middle-aged contractor couldn’t bring himself to stop. After 10 days, he resumed the...