‘I’m going to assassinate the president’: Man arrested over Biden threats

An Alabama man is facing federal charges for allegedly calling the White House switchboard and saying he planned to assassinate President Joe Biden.

John Andrew Bazor Jr., 37, was charged Tuesday by the US Secret Service in federal court with threatening Biden. Relatives told federal investigators that Bazor has had mental health and substance abuse issues, according to court documents.

Bazor is expected to undergo an evaluation to determine if he is competent to stand trial. His attorney says the case is a matter of mental health, not criminal intent.

“Based on all the facts and circumstances currently known, it appears that he needs to be in a hospital receiving mental health treatment, not in jail,” said Gordon Armstrong, an attorney for Bazor. news week in an email.

John Andrew Bazor Jr. was charged Tuesday for allegedly threatening President Joe Biden. Above, Biden delivers remarks on climate change and clean energy at the Brayton Point Power Plant on July 20, 2022 in Somerset, Massachusetts.
Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Secret Service agents arrested Bazor Monday after locating him in an extended-stay hotel room in Mobile, Alabama, according to the probable cause affidavit filed by Special Agent Joseph Paul.

Bazor called the Secret Service mobile office the weekend of July 9, according to the affidavit, and left several confusing voicemails saying that he had filed an unspecified complaint with the FBI and had called the State Department. and the CIA.

The White House switchboard operator reported receiving a threatening phone call at 9:37 am on July 10, according to the affidavit.

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“I am here to assassinate the president,” the caller said to the switchboard operator, according to the affidavit. “I can’t wait to see the look on his face when I put a bullet in him.”

armstrong said news week that while the case is in its early stages, there are two clear questions: whether Bazor’s call to a switchboard operator was an actual threat, and whether Bazor is competent enough to develop the intent to make the threat and carry it out.

A day after the call was received by the White House switchboard, the Secret Service issued a subpoena linking Bazor to the phone number used to contact the agency’s local office.

The Secret Service launched an investigation led by Paul, along with Special Agent William Watson, who unsuccessfully tried to call Bazor at the phone number, according to the affidavit. Agents located a possible residence for Bazor in Mobile, Alabama, and knocked on his door on the morning of July 18.

Bazor’s mother, Kimberly Clark, answered the door and told officers he did not live there and expressed concern about her son’s mental health, according to the affidavit.

“Clark reported that his son has never been officially diagnosed with a mental illness,” the affidavit says. “Clark stated that he is afraid of Bazor and tried multiple times to have him institutionalized. Clark reported that Bazor has been using methamphetamine since 2017.”

In addition, he told agents that Bazor had been involuntarily admitted to Mobile Infirmary without receiving a diagnosis and had threatened to blow up a local hotel.

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Bazor had been trying to persuade Clark to rent a vehicle for him so he could travel to Washington, DC, for “an unknown reason,” according to the affidavit. He also told agents that he “sleep with his car keys in his pillowcase, otherwise Bazor will take his vehicle without authorization.”

Agents arrived at Bazor’s hotel room later that day, where he rambled unintelligibly for several minutes before confirming his phone number, that he made the threatening phone call to the White House switchboard, and that he wanted to make the call. the threat, according to the affidavit.

Bazor’s sister, Jessy Clark, was also at the hotel and told agents her brother was a narcotic user and needed mental health treatment, according to the affidavit. She also told agents that he had been trying to find a vehicle to travel to Washington, DC, and that he had gotten into physical altercations.

Agents contacted local crisis mental health workers, but Bazor refused to speak with them when they arrived, according to the affidavit. Bazor, who is described in the affidavit as uncooperative in the affidavit, was later arrested.

Federal prosecutors have asked Bazor to submit to a mental health exam. Armstrong said an order was issued Wednesday for him to be transferred to a medical facility for a psychological evaluation.

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