Massachusetts man pleads guilty to bomb threat aimed at then-Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs
Aug 11, 2023, 4:55 PM
PHOENIX (AP) — A Massachusetts man has pleaded guilty to sending threats two years ago to Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs when she was the secretary of state, the U.S. Justice Department said Friday.
James Clark, 38, entered a guilty plea to one count of sending a communication containing a bomb threat to an election official, according to a news release.
The FBI arrested Clark last year over online threats he made in February 2021.
According to prosecutors, Clark, of Falmouth, Massachusetts, sent a message through an online form maintained by the Secretary of State’s election department. He warned Hobbs she had to “resign by Tuesday Feb. 16 by 9 a.m. or the explosive device impacted in her personal space will be detonated.”
He also was accused of doing Internet searches of Hobbs’ name with phrases like “how to kill” and “address.”
Clark’s threat was one of countless threats made against Hobbs for her role in certifying the 2020 presidential election, which then-Republican President Donald Trump contended without evidence was stolen. Democrat Joe Biden was declared the winner in Arizona.
Clark will be sentenced on Oct. 26. He faces up to five years in prison.
The Justice Department says this case is an example of sweeping efforts by an election threats task force. An Indiana man appeared in federal court on Friday for an indictment in connection with a telephone threat made to a municipal clerk in Michigan following the 2020 presidential election.
In a statement, Attorney General Merrick Garland said Americans who run the voting system should not fear doing their jobs.
“As this case demonstrates, the Justice Department is investigating and prosecuting violations of federal law against election officials and election workers,” Garland said.