A New Hampshire man was charged with threatening to kill U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville, according to United States Attorney Jane E. Young.
Brian Landry, 66, was charged with threatening to assault, kidnap or murder a U.S. official, after he allegedly left a threatening voicemail with the senator’s district field office on May 17, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of New Hampshire.
“Hey stupid,” the voicemail said. “I’m a veteran sniper. And unless you change your ways, I got my scope pointed in your direction and I’m coming to get you. You’re a dead man walking, you piece of f***ing sh*t.”
Landry reportedly told investigators that he saw reports of a lawmaker “blocking military promotions” and was “extremely angry with certain politicians over their handling of important entitlement programs for veterans,” according to NBC News.
Investigators identified the phone call as coming from a number associated with Landry. When they interviewed Landry, he admitted to having called the Senator’s office but did not initially recall exactly what he said in the voicemail.
The charge provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, up to 3 years of supervised release, and a fine up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
Tuberville has placed a hold on hundreds of top military promotions and nominations since February, in protest of new Department of Defense policies that allow for paid leave and reimbursement for service members who travel to obtain an abortion.
The Alabama Republican has faced backlash over the controversial hold, receiving the rebuke of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
“This indefinite hold harms America’s national security and hinders the Pentagon’s normal operations,” Austin said in a May letter. “The longer that this hold persists, the greater the risk the U.S. military runs in every theater, every domain, and every Service.”
Seven former Pentagon chiefs from the last four administrations sent another letter to the Senate urging lawmakers to end Tuberville’s hold on 184 general and flag officer nominations and approve the promotions, warning the block is “harming military readiness and risks damaging U.S. national security.”
“The current hold that has been in place now for several weeks is preventing key leaders from assuming important, senior command and staff positions around the world,” said the former Defense secretaries, who served under both Republican and Democratic administrations, including Mark Esper and James Mattis, who worked under former President Trump. The other signatories served under the Obama, Bush and Clinton administrations: William Perry, William Cohen, Robert Gates, Leon Panetta, and Chuck Hagel.
“Some are unable to take important command positions, such as leading the 5th Fleet in Bahrain and the 7th Fleet in the Pacific, which are critical to checking Iranian and Chinese aggression,” said the former Pentagon chiefs. “Leaving these and many other senior positions in doubt at a time of enormous geopolitical uncertainty sends the wrong message to our adversaries and could weaken our deterrence.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has also opposed Tuberville’s blanket hold on military promotions.
Tuberville’s national security advisor, retired Navy reservist and former food writer Morgan Murphy, stepped down after a Washington Post article suggested he was largely behind the hold.