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Texas woman arrested on charges she made death threats to judge in Mar-a-Lago documents case

In a court filing, prosecutors said that Tiffani Gish has a history of "delusional conduct" and that she previously made threats against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., on Sept. 3, 2022.
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., on Sept. 3.Mary Altaffer / AP fiel

A Texas woman has been arrested and charged with making death threats against the judge presiding over former President Donald Trump's court fight against the Justice Department over national security documents seized from his Florida resort.

Tiffani Gish was arrested last week in the Houston area after she admitted to federal marshals that she had left three threatening voicemails telling U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon that she was "marked for assassination" and that she planned to shoot her in front of her family, a federal criminal complaint says.

Gish also made a number of outlandish comments in the Sept. 1 calls, saying that she is "in charge of nuclear" for the country and that she has a "license to kill," the court filings say. At one point in the voicemails, she said she is working for Trump as his "hitman"; at another point, she accused Trump of having orchestrated the Sept. 11 attacks and claimed that he is marked for assassination, as well, they said.

She identified herself in the calls as a federal agent named "Evelyn Salt" — the name of a spy character played by Angelina Jolie in the 2010 movie "Salt," the filings allege.

U.S. marshals were able to identify Gish by tracing her cellphone number, the criminal complaint says. Prosecutors said that she has a history of "delusional conduct" and that she has "claimed to be a CIA agent, a Navy SEAL, an Army Ranger, and someone familiar with nuclear weapons or war, all while intermixing threats to public officials such as former President Donald Trump or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton."

She has also "contacted the CIA several times since 2021" offering "un-credible, nonsensical information related to nuclear weapons," the filings say. Gish's mother told Secret Service agents in March that her daughter has "suffered from severe bipolar disorder and is borderline schizophrenic," they say.

A lawyer for Gish did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

She has been ordered held pending trial on charges of influencing a federal official by threat and one count of interstate communications with a threat to kidnap or injure. Gish's attorney argued that she hadn't acted on any of her threats, but U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Bray of Houston found "the threats themselves to be harmful" because they are "designed to place the victim in fear and cause distress and apprehension."

Gish is due in court in Houston on Tuesday for a hearing on the government's request for a mental competency exam.

Cannon, a Trump appointee, last week granted his request to have a special master review the evidence the FBI seized under a search warrant at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, last month, and she temporarily blocked parts of the Justice Department’s investigation.

Police have said the federal magistrate judge who authorized the search warrant, Bruce Reinhart, also received a number of threats last month.