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Michigan man charged in threats to congressman, FBI director

Neil Matthew Walter allegedly made threats in a voicemail to Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., and in an online post about FBI Director Christopher Wray.

A Michigan man has been arrested and accused of a threatening to kill a Democratic U.S. representative and the FBI director, according to federal court documents.

Neil Matthew Walter, of Genesee County, left a voicemail Nov. 3 for Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., that said in part “Hey John. You’re gonna die John,” according to an FBI affidavit.

Walter also commented Saturday on a livestream video of FBI Director Christopher Wray in which he wrote he would kill Wray, the document alleges.

Neil Walter.
Neil Walter.Facebook

An attorney listed as representing Walter did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment after business hours Tuesday night.

Walter's parents told investigators he suffers from mental health issues and had been previously committed at a Florida hospital, FBI Special Agent Sean Thomas wrote in the affidavit.

Walter’s Facebook page had comments “stating beliefs that half the Senators, the FBI, CIA, police, Tom Cruise, and Elon Musk are involved in a child slave rape ring,” according to the affidavit. A local police detective who conducted a welfare check said Walter opened the door with a handgun and made comments about abuse of children, Thomas wrote in the affidavit.

Walter is charged with one count of transmitting in interstate commerce a communication containing a threat to injury the person of another, the complaint says.

Threats against lawmakers have been on the rise for years. In 2017, U.S. Capitol Police said they investigated 3,939 cases, which includes direct threats and concerning statements or actions. In 2021 that number was 9,625.