LOS ANGELES — A Texas man who allegedly threatened to kill Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters last year was indicted Friday by a federal grand jury in California, prosecutors said.
Brian Michael Gaherty, 60, was arrested last week, and a grand jury returned an indictment against him on eight counts related to the threats, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles said in a statement.
Attorneys listed in federal court records as representing Gaherty did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday evening.
The threats were made in four voicemails in August and November.
Waters is a California Democrat serving her 16th term in the House of Representatives.
In an Aug. 8 voicemail, Gaherty allegedly said he would “cut your throat,” a special agent with the U.S. Capitol Police wrote in an affidavit filed in court as part of a criminal complaint.
Gaherty made racial comments in some of the calls to Waters’ office in Hawthorne, in the Los Angeles area, according to the affidavit. Waters is Black.
Gaherty also left threatening voicemails at the offices of two other congress members of color, one of which referred to her being Latina, the agent wrote in the affidavit.
They are not named in the document.
The charges announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California pertain to the threats against Waters.
Gaherty was indicted on four counts of making threats in interstate communications and four counts of threatening a United States official, the office said.
Gaherty is free on bond in Texas, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. An arraignment in California has not been scheduled.
Threats directed against members of Congress have been on the rise for years but dipped slightly in 2022.
Capitol Police have said they investigated more than 7,500 threats or potential threats against lawmakers last year.
In 2021, when the Jan. 6 riot took place, threat cases jumped to 9,625. There were only 3,939 cases investigated in 2017.