The FBI arrested James W. Clark of Falmouth, Massachusetts, on Friday for allegedly threatening to explode a bomb in the “personal space” of Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs if the Democrat did not resign in the weeks after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol, according to NBC Boston.
According to the indictment against him, Clark researched “how to kill” Hobbs in February 2021. The 38-year-old also allegedly searched online “fema Boston marathon bombing” and “fema Boston marathon bombing plan digital army” before sending Arizona’s Elections Division a felony threat through their online contact form.
“Your attorney general needs to resign by Tuesday, February 16th by 9 a.m. or the explosive device impacted in her personal space will be detonated,” Clark wrote, according to prosecutors.
The threat was sent on Feb. 21, 2021, and seemingly made as a result of Hobbs’ role in certifying the 2020 presidential election. Former President Donald Trump infamously contended it was stolen despite dozens of state and federal judges dismissing his lawsuits.
“All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical-left Democrats, which is what they’re doing,” said Trump in his Jan. 6 speech before the Capitol riots, according to NPR. “And stolen by the fake news media. That’s what they’ve done and what they’re doing. We will never give up, we will never concede.”
Despite receiving hundreds of threats on some days and none on others, the harassment ebbing and flowing, Clark’s was the only bomb threat she received, Hobbs spokeswoman Murphy Hebert told NBC Boston.
“The FBI takes all threat-to-life matters very seriously,” said Chris Ormerod, the acting special agent in charge of the Phoenix field office. “While this arrest demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to hold accountable anyone who tries to intimidate a public official, it also shows that people cannot threaten others with violent and physical harm without repercussions.”
Trump lost to then-presidential candidate Joe Biden by more than 10,000 votes in Arizona.
It remains unclear whether Clark found a lawyer or is still in custody after Friday’s arrest.
If found guilty of making a bomb threat, Clark faces up to 10 years in prison. According to the three-count indictment, he was also charged with one count of communicating an interstate threat and one count of perpetrating a bomb hoax, each of which carries a sentence of up to five years.
Intelligence agencies and election officials across the country continue to receive similar threats, said Hobbs.
Attorney General Merrick Garland even formed an Election Threats Task Force in June 2021 to more thoroughly investigate such activities.
“Election officials across the country are being threatened regularly for doing their jobs,” Hobbs said in a statement Friday, according to NBC News. “It’s unconscionable and undermines our democracy. This harassment won’t be tolerated and can’t be normalized. We thank the FBI for their persistence on further investigating this incident.”