By Taylor Romine, CNN
(CNN) — A Las Vegas man accused of leaving antisemitic voicemail messages threatening to kill a US senator last month has been indicted by a federal grand jury over the calls and on charges he threatened to kill close relatives of that official and another senator, according to the indictment and the US attorney’s office in Nevada.
John Anthony Miller, 43, was arrested last month and charged with threatening a federal official, the US attorney’s office said, as fears of hate-motivated attacks in the United States have escalated following the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel and ensuing violence in the Middle East.
A federal grand jury then last week also charged Miller with two counts of influencing, impeding or retaliating against a federal official by threatening a family member, according to the court record, which refers to two US senators without naming them.
Not guilty pleas on all three counts were entered Tuesday by the court on Miller’s behalf, federal records show. CNN has sought comment from an attorney for Miller, who is ordered to stay in custody until his jury trial, set for January 23. Conviction carries up to 10 years in prison, the US attorney’s office said in a news release.
US Sen. Jacky Rosen’s office has said the Nevada Democrat – the third Jewish woman to sit in the US Senate – was one of the recipients of Miller’s threats, which authorities have said were antisemitic voicemail messages with slurs and threats to kill her.
The threats, prosecutors have said, began just days after the October 7 Hamas terror attack that left 1,200 dead and 240 abducted in Israel, which responded with an offensive that’s slain more than 14,800 in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the West Bank, drawing its data from Hamas-run health authorities there.
The conflict has spawned mounting anxiety in the United States of hate-motivated attacks, with tensions highlighted by incidents including the death of a Jewish protester during a rally in Southern California and the shooting of three Palestinian college students in Vermont.
Rosen is an “outspoken supporter of Israel,” her website notes. She sponsored a bipartisan resolution condemning the Hamas attack and has called for the immediate release of all Israeli hostages, plus full US support for Israel, including military assistance.
“I’ve met with the families of those who were abducted by Hamas, and I promised them I’d keep fighting until their loved ones were returned safely,” she said, according to a news release.
Regarding the charges against Miller, Rosen “trusts the US Attorney’s office and federal law enforcement to handle this matter,” a spokesperson for her office said in a statement, adding, “Threats against public officials should be taken seriously.”
Miller is accused of leaving “numerous threatening voicemails” at the office of a US senator between October 11 and 19, according to a federal complaint. The calls referenced the Israel-Hamas conflict that flared up in October, included slurs against the senator and threatened to “finish what Hitler started,” it said.
The caller tried to tie the senator’s support for Israel to her faith, saying, “You done picked your side b*tch and you done chose evil,” the complaint said.
Miller tried to get into the Las Vegas courthouse to see the senator on October 18 but was refused entry, the complaint states. He then walked down Las Vegas Boulevard yelling, “To kill every last Israeli terror-f**king-rist,” it says.
CNN’s Chimaine Pouteau, Sara Smart and Stephanie Becker contributed to this report.
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