Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr (pictured) allegedly texted friends that he wanted to shoot or run over Nancy Pelosi
A Trump supporter, who allegedly told his friends that he wanted to shoot and run over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has been arrested on federal charges stemming from the riot at the Capitol last week.
According to CNN, Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr traveled to Washington, DC, last Tuesday with hundreds of rounds of ammunition and an assault rifle.
Authorities also said Meredith had texted his friends that he wanted to shoot or run over Pelosi.
In one text, Meredith allegedly wrote that he was thinking of ‘putting a bullet in [Pelosi’s] noggin on Live TV’.
Another allegedly reads: ‘I’m gonna run that c**t Pelosi over while she chews on her gums.’
According to officials, a third text from Meredith, who is a married, father-of-two, says he has ‘a sh*t ton of … armor piercing ammo’.
Meredith is one of 13 people who have been charged with federal crimes. Others include, Alabama man, Lonnie Coffman, whose vehicle contained 11 Molotov devices and Richard Barnett, of Arkansas, who was photographed sitting at a desk in Pelosi’s office, according to a statement from the Justice Department.
Meredith was charged on Thursday with making interstate threats to Pelosi, the Justice Department said in a statement. He was also charged with possessing an unregistered firearm and ammunition and is being held until a court hearing next week.
Before last week’s DC riot, Meredith protested outside Georgia Gov Brian Kemp’s home. Trump supporters had been demonstrating against the governor for confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s vote win in the state.
In one text, Meredith allegedly wrote that he was thinking of ‘putting a bullet in [Pelosi’s] noggin on Live TV’. Another allegedly reads: ‘I’m gonna run that c**t Pelosi over while she chews on her gums’
According to officials, a third text from Meredith, who is a married, father-of-two, says he has ‘a sh*t ton of … armor piercing ammo’
According to the documents, the FBI searched Meredith’s room at a Holiday Inn in DC. He also allowed agents to search his phone, truck and its trailer.
Authorities said they found a Glock 19, a 9 mm pistol and an assault rifle inside Meredith’s trailer and ‘approximately hundreds of rounds of ammunition’.
Meanwhile, the top federal prosecutor for the District of Columbia has said ‘all options are on the table’ for charging the rioters, many of whom were egged on by President Donald Trump’s speech hours earlier at a rally over his election loss.
Investigators are combing through photos, videos and tips from the public to track down members of the violent mob.
Capitol police officer, Brian D. Sicknick, died after he was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher as rioters descended on the building and many other officers were injured.
Ashli Babbitt, 35, of California, was shot to death by Capitol Police and three other people died of medical emergencies during the chaos.
The US attorney’s office for DC, which handles both local and federal cases in the district, had filed 17 cases in federal court and at least 40 others in the Superior Court by Saturday. The cases in Superior Court mainly have to do with things like curfew violations and gun crimes.
Those being tried in federal court, where prosecutors can generally secure longer sentences, are charged with things like violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, assaulting a federal law enforcement officer and threatening Pelosi.
Barnett, who appeared in a widely seen photo sitting in Pelosi’s office with his boots on the desk, is among those. He is charged with crimes including theft of public money, property or records.
Coffman was arrested after authorities say they found guns and 11 Molotov cocktail explosive devices made out of Mason jars, golf tees and cloth rags in his pickup truck.
Meredith is one of 13 people who have been charged with federal crimes after the riot (pictured) on Wednesday
Others include, Alabama man, Lonnie Coffman, whose vehicle contained 11 Molotov devices and Richard Barnett (pictured), of Arkansas, who was photographed sitting at a desk in Pelosi’s office, according to a statement from the Justice Department
Prosecutors say these charges are just the beginning. Authorities said Friday that additional cases remained under seal and dozens of other people were being sought by federal agents
According to CNN, Coffman, 70, told police he had mason jars filled with ‘melted Styrofoam and gasoline’.
If that combination would’ve exploded, federal investigators believe it would have had the effect of napalm because it ’causes the flammable liquid to better stick to objects that it hits upon detonation’.
In addition, authorities found rags and lighters, which combined with the explosive-filled mason jars ‘in close proximity to one another constitute a combination of parts’ that could be used as a ‘destructive device,’ court documents said.
Authorities said Coffman’s truck was parked on First St SE on the Hill, near the National Republican Club, at around 9.15am Wednesday morning.
Coffman was found about a block away from where his truck was parked and carrying a 9mm handgun and a .22-caliber handgun in each of his front pockets, police said.
None of the weapons he possessed were registered to him.
The Justice Department said Coffman was charged on Thursday, with possession of an unregistered firearm (destructive device) and carrying a pistol without a license.
Coffman is currently being held until his detention hearing on Tuesday.
A Florida man identified as the person seen in a photo shared widely on social media carrying the speaker of the House’s lectern was also arrested Friday.
Adam Johnson faces charges including theft of government property.
Prosecutors say these charges are just the beginning. Authorities said Friday that additional cases remained under seal and dozens of other people were being sought by federal agents.
US attorneys in several states, including Kentucky, Ohio and Oregon, said people could face charges in their home states if they traveled to Washington and took part in the riot.
The FBI has released photos of people inside the Capitol, urging the public to help identify them.
Capitol Police arrested just more than a dozen people the day of the breach while DC police arrested around 70.
Many people freely left the Capitol, which means investigators now have to work to identify them and track them down.
Alabama man, Lonnie Coffman, whose vehicle contained 11 Molotov devices (pictured), was charged on Thursday, with possession of an unregistered firearm (destructive device) and carrying a pistol without a license
Authorities have to distinguish between those who traveled to Washington only to participate in the rally before the riot versus those who were part of the insurrection at the Capitol.
It can take weeks for investigators to go through photos and video, identify suspects, interview witnesses and write a complaint to secure an arrest.
Those who’ve been charged so far could also lead investigators to others who joined in the violent siege on Capitol Hill.
Michael Sherwin, acting US attorney for the District of Columbia, said this week that prosecutors are not keeping anything out of their ‘ arsenal for potential charges’.
As prosecutors gather more evidence, they can add more charges against those they’ve already arrested.
Trump urged the crowd to march on the Capitol, even promising to go with them, though he didn’t in the end.
The president told his supporters to ‘fight’ to stop the ‘steal’ of the election, while his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, called for ‘trial by combat’.
But the legal bar for charging the president or any other speakers at the rally with inciting violence is high.
Experts say it would be tough to prove that the president intended for violence to happen on Capitol Hill.
Trump’s speech likely would not be considered illegally inciting violence because he didn’t specifically call for people to storm the Capitol, experts say.