Pittsburgh-area Man Indicted for Sending Threatening Communications to Members of Congress
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of suburban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of sending threatening communications in interstate commerce, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
The three-count Indictment named Harry E. Miller, 62, of Ross Township, Pennsylvania, as the sole defendant.
"Threatening to injure members of Congress is a crime, not protected-speech," said U.S. Attorney Brady. "As the events of the past year show, there are individuals intent on harming our public servants and law enforcement. We will vigorously and proactively investigate, disrupt and prosecute those individuals when they violate federal law."
"The threats alleged in this indictment were aimed at sitting lawmakers and crossed a line," said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Michael Christman. "The First Amendment does not give people the right to threaten anyone. Rest assured the FBI takes all threats seriously and will stop at nothing to let those who threaten violence know what the inside of a jail cell looks like."
"The mission of the United States Capitol Police is to protect the Congress, the U.S. Capitol, and all who work and visit here. We take all threats against Members of Congress very seriously and investigate them fully. I want to thank our highly-skilled investigators for their excellent work as well as our FBI partners and Mr. Brady and his staff for their prosecution of this case," said Yogananda D. Pittman, Acting Chief of the United States Capitol Police.
According to the Indictment, Miller is alleged to have transmitted, in interstate commerce, threats to injure other individuals. The indictment contains the following three charges:
• On or about August 19, 2019, Miller made a telephone call from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to U.S. Representative Katherine Clark’s Malden, Massachusetts district office and stated that he was willing to abolish government by spilling blood by taking out four to five democrats, including U.S. Representative Katherine Clark, that he would start shooting black people to keep them in line if he had to, and that the congressional staffer was an [expletive] who will also die in Miller’s forthcoming civil war;
• On or about January 7, 2020, Miller made a telephone call from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to U.S. Senator Richard Burr’s Washington, D.C. office and stated that he was going to put a bullet in Senator Burr’s head; and
• On or about January 7, 2020, Miller made a telephone call from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to U.S. Senator Richard Burr’s Washington, D.C. office, which was transferred to an individual, known to the grand jury, in the State of Tennessee, and stated that, if he traveled to D.C., he would be willing to shoot four or five senators in the head and that this statement was not a threat but a promise.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Shardul S. Desai is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The FBI and United States Capitol Police conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.
Miller made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court today before Chief Magistrate Judge Cynthia Reed Eddy, who released Miller on a $25,000 unsecured bond.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Updated February 21, 2021