Thomas Welnicki’s attorney reportedly insisted that her client “intended no harm” and was merely “expressing how distraught he was at what he saw as the attempted murder of Lady Liberty”.
A 72-year old man from Queens named Thomas Welnicki ended up being arrested after repeatedly making death threats against the 45th President of the United States Donald Trump, New York Daily News reports.
According to the newspaper, a criminal complaint unsealed this week in Brooklyn Federal Court reveals that Welnicki was previously interviewed by the US Capitol Police, whom he told that he would “acquire weapons” and take Trump “down” if the latter were to lose the election and refuse to leave the office.
“I do not want to hurt anyone but I will stand up to fascism,” the man said during his voluntary interview with cops in July 2020.
While Trump is not referred to by name but rather as “Individual 1” in the complaint, sources in law enforcement reportedly confirmed that the threats were aimed at him.
On 4 January last year, Welnicki left voicemails for the Long Island branch of the US Secret Service, threatening to kill Trump and twelve of his supporters, including senators and members of the US Congress.
“Oh yeah, that’s a threat, come and arrest me,” Welnicki allegedly said in the voicemail. “I will do anything I can to take out [Individual 1] and his twelve monkeys. If I had the opportunity to do it in Manhattan that would be awesome.”
That was not the last of his threats, as on 8 November 2021 the man called the Secret Service’s New York City Duty Desk, saying: “I will do everything I can to make sure [Individual 1] is dead.”
He also repeatedly referred to Trump as “Hitler” during the call, prosecutors reportedly said.
On Monday, Welnicki was arrested and taken to Brooklyn Federal Court where the judge ordered him released on $50,000 bail signed by his brother, with the prosecution agreeing to the release and requesting to have the man undergo mental health evaluation and alcohol treatment.
While Assistant US Attorney Victor Zapana said in the court that they “do believe that the nature of these crimes are serious,” Welnicki’s attorney Deirdre Von Dornum insisted that her client is no threat to anyone, arguing that the man would have been arrested sooner “if there were any actual danger here”.
“Mr. Welnicki intended no harm to anyone and posed no actual threat,” she said as quoted by the newspaper. “He was expressing how distraught he was at what he saw as the attempted murder of Lady Liberty.”