A California man has been indicted on federal charges accusing him of threatening to kill Rep. Maxine Waters, a Democrat who has been outspoken against President Donald Trump, telling her she will be a “f*cking dead ass n*gger” if she continued making comments about Trump.
Anthony Scott Lloyd, 44, left a threatening message laced with racial slurs, epithets and expletives on the voice mail of the California congresswoman’s office on October 22, Sandra R. Brown, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, said Monday in a press release.
Lloyd, of San Pedro, was indicted Friday in U.S. District Court and remains free on bail. He is accused “making the threat against Rep. Waters with the intent to interfere with the Congresswoman while she engaged in her official duties,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said in the press release.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The FBI Says Lloyd’s Message Said ‘We’ll Kill You … B*tch You’re F*cking Dead’
According to FBI Special Agent Christopher Kontsis, who wrote in court documents that he listened to the October 22 voice message, the caller, identified as Lloyd said:
This message is directed to Maxine Waters herself. If you continue to threaten the president, which you’ve done this morning with your comments about you’re going to, what you said at your little f*ggot conference, if you continue to make threats toward the President, you’re going to wind up dead, Maxine, ’cause we’ll kill you. You can call the FBI, you can call the NSA, you can call whoever the f*ck you want and report this and try to get a surge or some kind of f*cking phone number. B*tch if you do it again, you’re dead. You’re a f*cking dead ass n*gger.”
Kontsis wrote in court documents, “based upon my training and experience, as well as the tone of the message and the verbiage used, I considered the voicemail to be a valid threat against Congresswoman Waters intended to intimidate or retaliate against the Congresswoman.”
Lloyd was arrested on November 9, after a federal prosecutors filed the criminal complaint against him on November 8, according to the press release. He was released on $20,000 bail.
The FBI said in court documents that Lloyd is not a registered gun owner. He told the agents he doesn’t own a gun and the closest person to him who does lives in Alaska. He did tell the agents that he had planned to buy a gun as a result of unrelated threats he claimed he had received from someone he had interacted with on YouTube.
The agents asked Lloyd about his mental health or if he was on medication, and he told them, “I’m not crazy, I’m not under any medication. I’m not a pre-meditator, I’m not a planner, I’m not a terrorist guy, I’m very patriotic and I love my country.”
2. The Call Was Made After Waters Said She Was Going to ‘Take Out’ Trump,
a Comment His Supporters Claimed Meant Physical Harm
The call was made the day after Waters said she wanted to “take out” Trump while speaking at the Ali Forney Center dinner, a gala for LGBT youth, in New York, according to CNN. Waters told CNN that the comment was not meant to imply she wanted to physically harm Trump, but that she wanted to take the president out of office.
“Wow, what a moving evening this is. I’m sitting here listening, watching, absorbing, thinking about Ali even though I never met him,” Waters said at the dinner to loud applause. “And with this kind of inspiration, I will go and take out Trump tonight.”
Her comments stirred up the right on social media and some conservative news outlets, with many calling for her to be removed from office, interviewed by the Secret Service and charged with threatening the president.
“That’s absolutely ridiculous … that a 79-year-old grandmother who is a congresswoman and who has been in Congress and politics all these years doing any harm. The only harm I might be doing to the President is I want him impeached,” she told CNN on October 24.
“I don’t think this President should be representing our country … he creates controversy, he cannot get along with our members of Congress, and I’m going to continue my efforts to impeach him,” Waters said.
A staffer for Waters was the first to hear the voice message. He told the FBI that “whenever Congresswoman Waters makes a statement about the President, the office receives an ‘up-tick’ in telephone calls and voicemail messages.” The staffer listened to the call on October 22 and was “very concerned” for Water’s safety, he told the FBI. He said Waters “receives numerous ‘hateful’ and ‘harassing’ voicemail messages, but rarely does she receive a threatening message in which the caller used the word ‘kill.'”
3. Lloyd Told the FBI He Called After Listening to Talk Radio, Saying He Follows the News ‘Religiously’ & Was Tired of Waters’ Comments About Trump
Investigators tracked Lloyd down by tracing the cell phone number to the San Pedro home where he lives with his grandmother, according to court documents. He was interviewed October 27 by FBI agents. When the agents played the audio of the call for Lloyd, he told the did recall leaving the message, “but there’s nothing to it.” He said he was upset because Waters made “veiled” comments about doing something to Trump.
Lloyd told the FBI that he was in his car in San Pedro waiting for a friend to walk her dog on the morning of October 22, listening to talk radio, and it was “spur of the moment” that he decided to make the call. According to the criminal complaint:
Lloyd said that he was going to ‘make a statement’ because his voice matters.’ Lloyd stated that after he left the voicemail he thought ‘you probably could have done that one better.’ Lloyd stated that (he) told his friend ‘Tara’ about the voicemail and she told him he was an ‘idiot’ and to not be surprised if he got a knock on the door. Lloyd told Tara that he was not harmful to anybody.
Regarding the voicemail, Lloyd stated that the point he was trying to drive home was, ‘bitch if you make a move on my President … your ass is in trouble. You better not make a move on the President, you better not encourage people to make a move on the President, because if you do, it’s all over, what are you crazy? If you’re out there making statements like that and somebody does something, it’s on you.’
Lloyd told the FBI he “has no intentions of harming Congresswoman Waters,” and said the last time he visited Washington, D.C. was in 1982. He added that he doesn’t know where Waters’ Los Angeles office is located.
He told the FBI agents he “follows the news ‘religiously'” and had become upset because Waters was “constantly making comments about the President,” according to court documents. Kontsis, one of the agents, wrote in the complaint that Lloyd, “Looked at me and stated: ‘I don’t know if you follow the news or not. How much you follow the news. You’re not the type of guy that gets riled up probably.'”
Kontsis said he asked Lloyd if he is a pro-Trump supporter and Lloyd replied he was a “pro-President supporter. … It just infuriates the hell out of me to hear people talking about going after a president, we’re gonna, you know, send our people to handle a president, she has this Antifa group.”
Lloyd said he used his phone to look up the number for Waters’ office because he was “so worked up” by what she had said at the gala. He told the FBI that if he had received the call, he would not be concerned, but admitted that an average person would likely be “fearful,” according to the complaint.
4. He Thought the FBI Was at His House to Investigate Threats He Claims Were Made Against Him on YouTube
When FBI agents came to Lloyd’s grandmother’s house in San Pedro to interview him, he believed they had come because of unrelated threats he said had been made against him, according to court documents.
Lloyd told the agents that a man had been posting YouTube videos about the Las Vegas mass shooting and was encouraging “people to shoot cops,” in the videos, the FBI said in court documents. Lloyd said he left comments on the videos saying he did not agree with him.
“The two began to exchange comments with one another via YouTube,” according to the complaint. “Lloyd stated that (the man) posted a video where he was taunting Lloyd while racking a 12 gauge shotgun.”
Lloyd told the FBI that after watching the video he said to himself, “Fine, I’m gonna go after this man and I’m gonna f*cking kill him.”
He told the agents he was “on his way out of town to do that,” when he stopped at the LAPD’s Harbor Division and showed them the video and filed a reporter. When an agent asked Lloyd if he was really going to hurt the rival YouTuber, Lloyd said “Yeah.” The agent then asked him to say exactly what he was going to do:
I was going to show up to his pad and there was going to be a confrontation. And I knew if I showed up to his pad and there was a confrontation, he would probably get violent, and if he got violent, I was going to kill him.
Lloyd told the FBI he planned to bring a gun, and said he didn’t own any guns, but was “going to go get one.” He later changed his statement and said he didn’t actually plan to bring a gun.
He told the agents he “felt he was being threatened” in the videos and he thought the other man “could show up to his house and harm him and his grandmother.”
Lloyd told the FBI agents he told the LAPD that if the man, who also lives in Los Angeles, comes to his house, “I’m not calling you. I’m telling you. I’ll wait for his pulse to stop and then I’ll call you because I want to ensure that he’s dead. And I told them that. I’ll do it first, wait for him to die, then I’ll call ya. And you can bring the morgue out.”
5. Lloyd Faces Up to 10 Years in Prison if Convicted & Is Free on $20,000 Bail
Anthony Lloyd was charged with threatening “to murder a United States official, namely United States Congresswoman Maxine Waters, with the intent to impede, intimidate, or interfere with Congresswoman Waters while engaged in the performance of official duties or with the intent to retaliate against Congresswoman Waters on account of her performance of her official duties, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 115(a)(1)(B), influencing, impeding or retaliating against a Federal official.”
He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
You can read the criminal complaint above or by going here.
He is scheduled to appear in court on December 7 to be arraigned on the indictment, according to prosecutors.
Under the conditions of Lloyd’s release on $20,000 bail, LLoyd had to surrender his passport, is limited to traveling within the Central District of California, must avoid contact with Waters and her staff and is not allowed to possess guns or ammunition. He is also not allowed to possess illegal drugs or drink alcohol to intoxication and will submit to drug testing. He is scheduled to undergo a mental health evaluation.
He is being monitored by an electronic ankle bracelet and must remain in his home except for when going to work, attorney visits, court appearances or medical appointments.
Lloyd is scheduled to appear in court on December 7 for his arraignment.
Lloyd could not be reached for comment. He is being reached by a federal public defender who has not return a request for comment. A photo of Lloyd was not immediately available.
“This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which received assistance from the United States Capitol Police, Threat Assessment Section,” Brown’s office said in the press release. “This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Veronica Dragalin of the General Crimes Section.”
In a statement released by her office, Waters said the arrest does not accurately reflect the people in her district.
“My district is very diverse, and though we don’t always agree, my constituents would never threaten me,” Waters said in the statement. “We are collectively focused on the progress, safety, and security of our communities.”