UNITED STATES−Aaron McDowell of Salina, Kansas was arrested after threatening to kill President Donald Trump via social media on Tuesday, January 21. McDowell was in federal court on January 24, and could face up to 5 years in prison.
“I’m going to kill the President in the White House tomorrow at 7:00 p.m.” said McDowell. Someone responded, “Yo, prove it,” to which Mcdowell answered: “you’ll see it on the news.”
The affidavit and criminal complaint was written by Gregory Tiano, a CIA agent for 22 years. He has worked in the Wichita office since 2009.
“As a Senior Resident Agent, I have been trained to conduct criminal investigation to include but not limited to threats on protectees of the US Secret Service; which includes the President of the United States,” said Tiano.
During the interview, McDowell admitted that his father William advised him not to post the message or he would be visited by government agents. Aaron indicated that after hearing his father’s warning he posted the message with his cellphone.
Tiano concluded that Mcdowell “Knowingly and willingly threatened the President of the United States” which violates 18 U.S.C. 871. Full text of the affidavit and criminal complaint can be seen here.
McDowell was in court with friends and his roommate who stated that they thought they would be able to bring McDowell home.
“I don’t think he realized the severity,” said McDowell’s roommate Quentin Lashell. “He’s in Salina in the middle of the map. He made no attempt to go there. I was hoping the judge would let him be released to us. I would really like him to come home and be able to fight this in his own home and not be locked up.”
The defendant was detained by a federal judge to appear in previous cases against him. His detention hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, January 29.