Seattle Man Pleads Guilty to Threatening Congressman McDermott
Constituent Harassed Staffers and Threatened to Harm McDermott Over Democratic Primary Election
A 27-year-old Seattle man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to threatening a federal official, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes.
Jasper Kilmer Hillman Bell admits he made multiple phone calls to the staff of Congressman Jim McDermott in mid-April 2016, unsuccessfully trying to reach the Congressman. During one call Bell threatened to cut out the congressman’s tongue.
BELL expressed outrage over how delegates were being allocated between the two Democratic candidates for President and the role of Congressman McDermott as a ‘Super Delegate.’
McDermott is a “super delegate” to the Democratic convention and supports former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The congressman took the threats seriously enough that he kept a shovel in his office for protection.
Bell expressed outrage that protesters who favor Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination had been arrested at McDermott’s office.
Prosecutors will ask for up to a year in prison for BELL when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik on October 28, 2016.
According to the plea agreement, in mid-April 2016, protesters went to Congressman McDermott’s office unhappy about his support for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a ‘Super Delegate.’
BELL had written to the Congressman three times about the Super Delegate controversy, and had called the office on multiple occasions. On April 22, 2016, BELL called the Congressman’s office in Seattle seventeen times, and his Washington DC office an additional six times in one fifty minute period.
In the calls BELL expressed his outrage that protesters had been arrested at the Congressman’s office. Speaking with staffers BELL demanded to know the Congressman’s home address and said he would “track him down and cut his (expletive) tongue out.” He told one he would find Congressman McDermott’s home address and “…he would not be safe.”
Following the angry phone calls BELL went to the Congressman’s office and pounded on the locked exterior doors demanding to be admitted to the offices. Seattle Police arrested BELL later that evening.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, prosecutors will ask for no more than one year in prison.
BELL was in custody in the King County Jail until federal charges were filed earlier this week.
Following his guilty plea today he was released on the condition that he get anger management and mental health treatment. Under the terms of his release bond, BELL is required to have no contact with Congressman McDermott and his staff, and must stay a quarter mile from the Congressman’s office.
BELL is required to stay a half mile away from any political rally in the state of Washington.
McDermott, a 14 term congressman, announced his retirement in January.