U.S. Rep. Martha McSally talks about immigration and the health-care reform during a tense town-hall meeting in Sahuarita, Ariz., on Feb. 23, 2017. Mark Henle/azcentral.com
A Tucson man has been charged with threatening Rep. Martha McSally in voicemail messages suggesting her days “were numbered” because of her support for President Donald Trump.
The FBI arrested Steven Martan on Friday in connection with the calls and charged him with threatening a federal official.
In a statement, McSally’s office noted the threats were especially disturbing because of the 2011 shooting of then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who represented the district at the time.
“Our community should be deeply disturbed by these threats of violence. Threatening to shoot a member of Congress between the eyes and stating that her days are numbered is sickening. It is especially sickening here in southeastern Arizona because we know, perhaps better than any congressional district in the country, what happens when threats of violence become acts of violence,” said CJ Karamargin, McSally’s district director who also worked for Giffords. “These threats against Congresswoman McSally should be a wake-up call for us all.”
McSally, a Republican in her second term, represents one of the most evenly divided districts in Washington. She easily won re-election last year even as Trump lost that district by nearly 5 percentage points.
She was among the Republicans who earlier this month helped narrowly pass the GOP’s bill to replace the Affordable Care Act. She has also supported the Trump agenda in other key votes.
Martan is reportedly a campus monitor at Miles Exploratory Learning Center in the Tucson Unified School District. He was charged Friday in U.S. District Court in Tucson in connection with three calls allegedly made earlier this month.
In a statement, Giffords, a Democrat, condemned the threats.
“No matter where you live or what job you have, you have a right to feel safe in your community, at your workplace, and in your home. The threats of violence made against Congresswoman McSally are reprehensible and deeply disturbing. Civil discourse and civic engagement are hallmarks of our democracy, but threats and intimidation should never be tolerated.”
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