Washington – The FBI on Wednesday arrested a San Francisco man for allegedly making threats against Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after she voted to back a massive health care overhaul, authorities said.
Agents arrested Gregory Lee Giusti, 48, at his home midday Wednesday, said Patti Hansen, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s San Francisco office. She said Giusti will make his first appearance before a federal magistrate Thursday morning.
Authorities would not comment on the specific charges against Giusti, but Associated Press reported that federal officials said the man made dozens of calls to Pelosi’s homes in San Francisco and Washington and to her husband’s business office.
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One official told Associated Press that the man is believed to have spoken directly with Pelosi at least once.
“I’m not really going to comment on the charges,” the FBI’s Hansen, a public affairs specialist, told McClatchy.
It was the second consecutive day in which authorities made an arrest in connection with alleged threats against a member of Congress. On Tuesday, law enforcement officials filed charges against Charles Alan Wilson, 63, of Selah, Wash., who allegedly made threatening calls to Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington.
Pelosi had no comment but thanked authorities for their work.
“After an investigation into threats made against Speaker Pelosi, an arrest has been made in San Francisco,” Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said in a statement. “The speaker thanks the FBI, the Capitol Hill Police, House Sergeant at Arms and other law enforcement officials for their professionalism in this matter. She will have no further comment at this time.”
On Monday, Pelosi told reporters in San Francisco that “people have been active in expressing their disagreement” since the health care vote.
Sometimes those expressions have risen “to the level of threats or violence,” Pelosi said, explaining that she was not allowed to comment on her own situation.
The allegations against Giusti come just days after Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives said that at least 10 of their members had received threats since the health care vote and some had sought additional security protection.
Virginia Republican Rep. Eric Cantor also said he’d received threats. Cantor, the House Republican whip, charged that Democrats were using the reports of threats against their members as a “political weapon” against Republicans.