House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, joined by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor
A Tennessee man left profanity-laden voicemail messages at the office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, using an anti-Semitic slur and threatening the Virginia congressman's family, federal authorities said Thursday.
Glendon Llewellyn Swift, 62, of Lenoir City, has been charged with threatening to assault or murder a member of the immediate family of a United States official.
The FBI said in an affidavit that Swift left two messages at Cantor's suburban Richmond office the evening of Oct. 27, threatening to "destroy" the congressman, rape his daughter and kill his wife.
The caller shouted obscenities and slurs at the Jewish congressman, according to FBI special agent Nicholas Bultinck's report. The agent said the calls, which together lasted a little more than five minutes, were traced to Swift's cellphone.
Swift told the FBI on Wednesday that he "got drunk the other night and started cussing people out," the affidavit says. Swift admitted making the calls to Cantor but did not remember threatening the congressman's family, according to the report.
"Threatening to harm the family of a public official is a very serious charge, and we are grateful to the FBI and their law enforcement partners for their quick action in this case," U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride said.
Cantor spokeswoman Laena Fallon said the six-term Republican had no comment on the threats.
Swift made a preliminary appearance Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley Jr., in Knoxville. A detention hearing was scheduled for Wednesday in Knoxville.
Nobody returned a message left by The Associated Press on a Lenoir City answering machine with a recorded greeting by a man who identified himself as Glendon, and court records do not list an attorney for Swift. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison if convicted.
This is not Cantor's first experience with threats. In April, Norman LeBoon of Philadelphia was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to posting a YouTube video in which he called Cantor "a liar" and "Lucifer" and threatened to shoot him.