A Michigan man was charged for threatening to kill one of the attorneys of the whistleblower who prompted President Donald Trump's impeachment for soliciting foreign interference in the U.S. election.
"All traitors must die miserable deaths," wrote Brittan Atkinson, a 52-year-old laborer foreman from Beaverton, according to federal court documents first reported
. "Those that represent traitors shall meet the same fate. We will hunt you down and bleed you out like the pigs you are."
"We have nothing but time, and you are running out of it," the email continued. "Keep looking over your shoulder. We know who you are, where you live, and who you associate with. We are all strangers in a crowd to you."
Though not named in the documents, attorney Mark Zaid of Washington, D.C., confirmed to The Detroit News
that the threat was directed at him. The email was sent in November, one day after Trump criticized Zaid at a Louisiana rally.
At the rally, Trump waved a printout of a Fox News story, which detailed tweets from 2017 by Zaid that were critical of the president and called for "#rebellion." Trump called Zaid "a sleazeball."
"These people are bad people, and it’s so bad what they do to our country," Trump said
. "They rip the guts out of our country."
Bradley Moss, a partner at Zaid’s firm, also said he received threats after Trump's rally.
"@realDonaldTrump thank you so much for the specific commentary about my firm last night," Moss tweeted
. "I woke up to a ton of hate mail and death threats. And I’m not even on this case."
Atkinson is charged with violating federal interstate communication laws, which prohibit "any threat to injure the person of another." The felony offense is punishable by up to five years in prison. Atkinson pleaded not guilty.
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