Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies through the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of america, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, September 27, 2018.
Tom Williams | Pool | Reuters
A California man arrested Wednesday while armed with a handgun and ammunition, a knife, pepper spray and burglary tools told police he traveled to the Maryland home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to kill him, court records revealed.
The person, 26-year-old Nicholas John Roske, after being apprehended a block away from Kavanaugh’s residence, also told cops he was upset over the likelihood of the Supreme Court soon overturning the constitutional right to abortion, and the elementary school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, those records show.
“Roske stated that he began occupied with easy methods to give his life a purpose and decided that he would kill the Supreme Court Justice [Kavanaugh] after finding the Justice’s Montgomery County address on the Web,” FBI Special Agent Ian Montijo wrote in an affidavit.
“Roske further indicated that he had purchased [a] Glock pistol and other items for the aim of breaking into the Justice’s residence and killing the Justice in addition to himself,” the agent wrote.
Roske, who lives in Simi Valley, is being charged with one count of attempted murder of a Supreme Court justice. He faces a possible maximum prison sentence of 20 years if convicted.
During a transient appearance Wednesday in federal court in Greenbelt, Maryland, Roske consented to be detained without bail but reserved his right to request a hearing on bail later.
Under questioning from Magistrate Judge Timothy Sullivan, Roske said he was a school graduate, with a bachelor’s degree.
When Sullivan asked if he was considering clearly, and understood the character of the hearing, Roske answered, “I feel I even have an inexpensive understanding, but I would not say I’m considering clearly.”
He next is due in court on June 22.
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Roske arrived in a taxi Wednesday morning at about 1:05 a.m. in front of Kavanaugh’s home in Chevy Chase, a suburb of Washington, D.C. He was spotted by two deputy U.S. marshals standing outside Kavanaugh’s residence, who noted he was wearing black clothing and carrying a suitcase and backpack, the affidavit said.
He then walked down the road after seeing the marshals, that affidavit says.
Roske then called 911 and told a dispatcher his name, and that he was having suicidal thoughts and that he also had a gun in his suitcase, the affidavit said.
“He also told the decision taker he got here from California to kill a particular United States Supreme Court Justice,” the FBI agent wrote in his affidavit.
Roske was apprehended, while still on the phone with the 911 operator, by Montgomery County police sent to the scene. He was taken into custody without incident.
When police searched his suitcase and backpack, they found a Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol with two magazines and ammunition, a knife, a tactical chest rig, pepper spray, zip ties, a hammer, a screwdriver, nail punch, a crowbar, pistol light and duct tape, in accordance with the affidavit.
Police stand outside the house of U.S. Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh as abortion-rights advocates protest on May 11, 2022 in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Kevin Dietsch | Getty Images
Roske was taken to a Montgomery County police station after being arrested.
“After being taken to the precinct and advised of his constitutional rights, Roske agreed to talk with the authorities and signed a written waiver to that effect,” the affidavit said.
He then told a detective that “he was upset concerning the leak of a recent Supreme Court draft decision regarding the correct to abortion in addition to the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas,” in accordance with the affidavit.
Roske “indicated that he believed the Justice that he intended to kill would side with Second Amendment decisions that will loosen gun control laws,” the affidavit said.
Kavanaugh’s home, like those of other conservative Supreme Court justices, was the positioning of protests last month after the leak of a majority draft opinion that will overturn the constitutional right to abortion. That draft was written by Justice Samuel Alito, one other conservative.
The Supreme Court is predicted in the subsequent several weeks to issue a final decision on a Mississippi abortion law that was the topic of the draft opinion.
Wednesday’s incident occurred hours before the court released a ruling on a case unrelated to abortion.
Security has been tightened in any respect nine of the justices’ homes since last month, after the unprecedented leak of the draft.
The Department of Justice said in mid-May that the Marshals Service is providing “around-the-clock security” on the homes of all nine justices.
A spokesman for the Marshals Service told CNBC on Wednesday that security measures are still in place on the justices’ homes.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters, “This sort of behavior is clearly behavior that we are going to not tolerate.”
“Threats of violence and actual violence against the justices in fact strike at the guts of our democracy, and we’ll do every little thing we will to stop them and hold the individuals who do them accountable for that reason,” Garland said.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan in a press release lauded the response by U.S. marshals and police, saying they acted “quickly to apprehend the suspect and stop him from causing any harm.”
Hogan also said that he and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin “will proceed to partner with each federal and native law enforcement officials to assist ensure these residential areas” where Supreme Court justices live “are secure.”
“I call on leaders in each parties in Washington to strongly condemn these actions in no uncertain terms,” Hogan said.
“It’s critical to our constitutional system that the justices give you the chance to perform their duties without fear of violence against them and their families.”
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin warning of the “continued heightened threat environment across america.”
The bulletin said that in the approaching months DHS “expects the threat environment to turn out to be more dynamic as several high-profile events may very well be exploited to justify acts of violence against a spread of possible targets.”