Navy veteran ‘threatened to hang’ congresspeople for not ‘getting behind Trump’ in ‘homophobic, racist, antisemitic’ rants

A Navy veteran was arrested Monday (11 January) accused o threatening to kill US lawmakers opposed to Donald Trump and leaving crude, ranting, homophobic voicemails to congresspeople.

Ryder Winegar, 33, is facing federal charges and was taken to custody for allegedly leaving a string of voicemails to at least six members of Congress, according to a news release from the Department of Justice.

In one call, he is alleged said: “I got some advice for you. Here’s the advice, Donald Trump is your president.

“If you don’t get behind him, we’re going to hang you until you die.”

Other messages he allegedly left lawmakers included various homophobic, racist and antisemitic remarks.

In at least one voicemail, federal agents claimed, he identified himself by name and provided his return telephone number.

Winegar’s attorney told NBC10 Boston that the accused is a “decorated veteran” and sought to stress that the allegations had no connection to the Capitol riots which took place on 6 January.

Capitol riots Log Cabin Republicans

Extremist Donald Trump supporters enter the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty)

Navy veteran warned Congress there would be ‘problems’ if Donald Trump is not re-elected, agents claims

Attorney Scott W Murray claimed that the Amherst, Massachusetts, resident left the messages between 16 and 17 December. The six members of Congress have not been named by authorities.

“Hey [expletive],” one voicemail began, agents claimed. “How is there a pandemic when 99 per cent of people survive, huh?

“It seems like you don’t understand what the [expletive] a pandemic is.”

A third message reportedly said: “Donald Trump is your president. He’s going to be president.

“If he’s not, there’s going to be f*****g problems. You understand?”

As part of a joint investigation from the US Marshals, US Customs and Border Protection and the Amherst Police Department, US Capitol Police visited the suspect’s residence 20 December.

But, officials say, Winegar asked the officers to leave. He was eventually arrested while in Boston and appeared before a magistrate Tuesday (12 January) where his attorney pleaded not guilty.

“These charges derive from events alleged to have occurred in December 2020,” his attorney, Chuck Keefe, said in a statement.

“There are no allegations, and we are in possession of no information, that the allegations against Mr Winegar are in any way connected to the events of 6 January, 2021, in Washington DC.

“There is no allegation or information in our possession that Mr Winegar was even present in Washington DC on that date.

“He looks forward to resolving this matter as soon as practicable and returning to his family,”

America is still reeling after a pro-Trump gathering outside Capitol Hill, Washington DC, where lawmakers were ratifying the Electoral College vote to confirm president-elect Joe Biden’s victory, exploded into chaos as a mob breached the building.

The violence of the far-right insurgents tore through the grand walls of the Capitol complex, with extremists scaling walls, looting priceless artwork, smashing windows, posing on the dais and placing their boots atop members of the House’s desks. Donald Trump has since been impeached for inciting the insurrection.