Report: Arizona man convicted after making death threat against Nancy Pelosi

The Washington Examiner reported Sunday that an Arizona man had been convicted for making a death threat against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

The man’s chilling threat was as direct as can be: “I’m going to kill you.” In another message, he said, “You’re dead.”

Steven Arthur Martis, 77, of Bullhead City, was found guilty of one count of communicating an interstate threat to kill or harm Pelosi, the Examiner reported.

Martis harassed other lawmakers

Authorities say Martis left the voicemails at Pelosi’s Washington office in January 2020 after the FBI warned him about harassing other lawmakers.

Martis, who has been held in detention since February, faces up to five years in prison for the disturbing messages, according to NBC News. He will be sentenced in January.

His lawyer will ask for Martis to be sentenced to time served.

Martis also has two separate counts pending that the jury could not decide on, with a new trial set for January.

“This case is an important reminder that, although the First Amendment protects our right to free speech, which is one of our most precious individual rights, the United States Attorney’s Office takes threats to kill or harm another individual through a phone call or other form of interstate communication very seriously,” acting U.S. Attorney Glenn B. McCormick said, according to the Washington Examiner.

Threats on the rise in bitter environment

Earlier this year, Pelosi led a controversial effort to fortify security at the U.S. Capitol with a menacing fence in the aftermath of the riot there on Jan. 6. She also passed billions in funding for additional security to defend against what she called “the enemy within” as U.S. Capitol Police announced they would expand their operations outside Washington, D.C.

Threats and harassment against lawmakers on both sides are said to be more common in America’s increasingly bitter political environment, although many say Pelosi has not helped to cool tensions.

When the speaker censured Republican Paul Gosar of Arizona for sharing a controversial anime video last week, some noted that Pelosi has failed to penalize members of her own caucus, such as Maxine Waters (D-CA), for inciting mobs in the past.

After Jan. 6, many prominent figures on the left have likened average Trump supporters to domestic terrorists and Republicans in Congress to unindicted co-conspirators in a coup. The extreme rhetoric led one man to make a death threat against pro-Trump stalwart Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

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