A man identifying himself as an “Oath keeper” and an “American Patriot who has everything to lose” threatened to arrest lawmakers who support the Iran nuclear deal, beginning with Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat.
Capitol police are now investigating an open letter written by Jon Ritzheimer, an Arizona resident who attracted FBI attention when he organized an anti-Muslim protest rally and a “Draw Mohammed” cartoon contests at a Phoenix mosque in May. Mr. Ritzheimer wrote that he and an armed militia plan to arrest Mrs. Stabenow for treason.
“We are planning on arresting Senator Debbie Stabenow, who voted yes to the Iran Nuke Deal. She will be arrested for treason under Article 3 Section 3 of the Constitution,” Mr. Ritzheimer wrote, Roll Call reported.
“We have chosen her as our first target due to our strong ties with the Michigan State Militia and their lax gun laws that will allow us to operate in a manner necessary for an operation like this,” the letter continues.
Mr. Ritzheimer, a former Marine, wrote that after successfully detaining Mrs. Stabenow, he and his militia “will continue to move across the country and arrest everyone involved with the Iran Nuke Deal” including President Obama, Roll Call reported. He is also seeking donations for his mission.
In an email to The Washington Times, Jason Van Tatenhove, media director for the Oath Keepers, stressed that Mr. Ritzheimer is “merely a new member of the Oath Keepers, having newly joined in July,” and holds no leadership role in the organization.
“He has now been suspended for his actions, and we are in the process of following our bylaws to kick him out entirely. We, in NO WAY condone his actions, and are in the process of putting out statements to our membership to inform them of such,” Mr. Van Tatenhove said.
An aide for Mrs. Stabenow declined to comment, citing office policy not to comment on security matters.
Capt. Kimberly Schneider told Roll Call in an email that the U.S. Capitol Police “are aware and are working with local law enforcement in Michigan on the matter.”
But Mr. Ritzheimer said he has already notified law enforcement about his intentions and plans to cooperate with them “and try and keep this as smooth as possible so we don’t have another ‘Shot Heard Round The World’ situation on our hands,” Roll Call reported.