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New York man charged with threatening to kill Trump if he refused to leave office after election

President Donald Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, waves as he boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, January 20, 2021.
Carlos Barria | Reuters

A New York City man was arrested Monday morning for allegedly threatening to kidnap and kill former President Donald Trump if he refused to leave the White House after losing the 2020 election.

The 72-year-old defendant, Thomas Welnicki of Rockaway Beach, Queens, allegedly made the threats to Trump, as well as a dozen unidentified members of Congress, in several calls over the past year to Secret Service offices and other law enforcement, a criminal complaint says.

Trump was not identified by name in the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. But a footnote in that document identifies Welnicki’s target as the person who served as president from Jan. 2017 through Jan. 2021.

“During a voluntary interview on or about July 21, 2020, Welnicki told United States Capitol Police that ‘if [Individual-1] loses the 2020 election and refused to step down,’ Wenicki would ‘acquire weapons’ and ‘take him down,'” that complaint says.

“Welnicki bragged about how easy it was for him to acquire a firearm and added, “I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I will stand up to fascism,'” the complaint says.

“At the end of the interview, Welnicki stated, “I really hope that God takes [Individual-1] out,” it adds.

Welnicki is due to appear in Brooklyn federal court later Monday on the charge.

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