The actual threat was made in January, days after the Capitol riot, according to the recently-revealed indictment. Eugene Huelsman, a 58-year-old camera operator, was arrested last week in Los Angeles for the threat, which was made when Huelsman allegedly called Gaetz’s office and said he’d “put a bullet” in the Republican congressman and his children.
“Tell [Matt Gaetz] to watch his back, tell him to watch his children,” said, according to court documents. “I’m coming for him… I’m gonna f***ing kill him … I’m gonna put a bullet in you and I’m gonna put a bullet in one of your f***ing kids too.”
Gaetz had described only days before news of Huelsman’s arrest his fear that death threats against him were not being taken seriously enough.
“I think someone may be trying to kill me and if they are successful I would like my constituents and my family to know who stopped their arrest,” he said on the House floor last week.
Huelsman’s indictment was issued by a grand jury in May, and Gaetz believes his recent criticism of law enforcement officials is what prompted the arrest and the unsealing of the indictment.
“If they took our security seriously, they would arrest all of the people who violate federal law and the threats to kill us, not just some of them,” he told Politico, adding that he believes the Justice Department is “biased against Republicans.”
The congressman said he’d previously turned over the voice message from Huelsman to Capitol Police. Gaetz said Capitol Police had also recommended the arrest to the Department of Justice of someone who threatened him on Twitter and came to Washington DC, though that unidentified man remains free.
Huelsman had received multiple Emmy Award nominations for his work as a camera operator, working on multiple reality series, as well as with late-night comedian Conan O’Brien. He has worked for numerous networks over the years, including CNN. Huelsman’s association with the left-leaning network is what many conservative critics honed in on, with many blasting the network and calling the threat in question “beyond sickening.”
“This is CNN!” former Donald Trump administration Sebastian Gorka tweeted, mocking an often-used slogan as the network.
Gaetz has also highlighted Huelsman’s work for CNN, after a network communications director described Huelsman as a “freelancer” who hasn’t been with the network in years, calling it “dishonest” to describe him as an employee.
“Dishonesty is your organizing principle. And you are dangerous,” Gaetz replied.
Huelsman has been released on bond, but is scheduled to make a court appearance in Pensacola, Florida this week.
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