A man has been indicted for threatening to murder two prominent liberal senators — Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders and California Democrat Kamala Harris — as well as to harm participants in the "March for Our Lives" gun control rally held on the National Mall in March.
The five-count grand jury indictment of Nicholas Bukoski was revealed Wednesday by the Washington D.C. branch of the U.S. District Court. It contains few details of the alleged threats but indicates they all occurred on March 24, the day of the rally.
The indictment was issued in April but held under seal until late last week, when Bukoski was taken into federal custody, and wasn’t revealed publicly until Wednesday.
Bukoski is charged with two counts of threatening to assault or murder members of Congress and three counts of transmitting threats via interstate commerce. Sanders and Harris are both considered 2020 Democratic presidential . The March for Our Lives rally was organized by survivors of the mass school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
There are few details about Bukoski available in the federal filings, however a 19-year-old man of the same name was arrested in April for an armed robbery and was later charged with a string of arsons, according to local reports.
Federal prosecutors filed their initial indictment under seal, according to a U.S. District Court filing, to avoid tipping off Bukoski to their pursuit.
“Once the bench warrant issues, law enforcement will begin to investigate ways in which to secure the arrest of the defendant,” U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu wrote at the time. “The public disclosure of this Indictment at this time could jeopardize future plans to secure the Defendant’s arrest, because such disclosure could result in alerting the defendant of the warrant.”
Harris and Sanders’ offices declined to comment on the indictment. A lawyer for Bukoski did not respond to a request for comment.
The release of the indictment and arrest details comes a day before the annual congressional baseball game, an event that last year was marred by apparent politically motivated violence when a gunman targeted Republican players at a practice. The attack left House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and lobbyist Matt Mika severely wounded, though both have recovered and expect to play in this year’s game.