Man Threatens to Kill Trump, Gets Charged: ‘Take Him Down’

Thomas Welnicki from New York was charged on Saturday with knowingly and willfully threatening to kill, kidnap, and inflict bodily harm upon President Donald Trump.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Thomas Welnicki, 72, of Rockaway Beach, who allegedly threatened to kill President Trump during a phone call with U.S. Capitol Police and other authorities, has been charged, reports The Hill.
  • During a phone call made around July 21, 2020, Welnicki told Capitol Police that if Trump lost the November 2020 presidential election and then “refused to step down,” he would “acquire weapons” and “take him down.”
  • Welnicki was upset with what he perceived as Donald Trump’s threats to democracy by not conceding the 2020 election results, according to Reuters.
  • A criminal complaint doesn’t name Trump specifically, but it does note that “individual-1” served as the U.S. president from Jan 20, 2017, until Jan 20, 2021.
  • Welnicki also told Capitol Police about obtaining a firearm, saying, “I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I will stand up to fascism.”
  • “I really hope that God takes [Trump] out,” Welnicki said at the end of his interview with Capitol Police.
CALLS WELNICKI MADE:
  • Welnicki around Jan 4, 2021 called the Secret Service’s Long Island office, leaving two voicemails, and, in one of them, threatening to kill Trump and 12 other unidentified lawmakers who he believed “backed” Trump, The Hill reports. Mentioning that there was a $350,000 reward out for killing Trump and the others, Welnicki said, “Oh yeah that’s a threat, come and arrest me. I will do anything I can to take out [Trump] and his 12 monkeys.”
  • Then round Sept 24, Welnicki reached out to the Secret Service’s New York field office, inquiring about the agency’s protection of former presidents, including Trump, and their children. He also asked how he could arrange a protest at Trump’s residence on Pearl Harbor Day, while mentioning his guns and ammunition.
  • On Nov 8, Welnicki made at least two other calls to the Secret Service’s New York field office, during which he identified himself by name and referred to Trump as Hitler, saying, “I will do everything I can to make sure [Trump] is dead.”
  • The last call took place on Dec 2, when Welnicki asked for information about how he could schedule a protest at Trump’s residence. “The new Civil War could break out and taking up arms against the government is justified when ballots don’t matter,” Welnicki reportedly said on the call, adding that he previously owned a .22 caliber firearm, according to The Hill.
WHAT WELNICKI’S LAWYER SAID:

“Mr. Welnicki intended no harm to anyone,” his lawyer Deirdre von Dornum, attorney-in-charge of the federal defender’s office in Brooklyn, said in an email. “He was expressing how distraught he was at what he saw as the threats to our democracy posed by former President Trump.”

BACKGROUND:
  • The complaint references five days between July 2020 and December 2021 during which Welnicki spoke with authorities regarding Trump, The Hill notes.
  • U.S. Magistrate Judge Vera Scanlon set bail at $50,000, ordering Welnicki to undergo alcohol and mental health treatment and to submit to GPS monitoring, according to Reuters.