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  • Writer's pictureShane Masterson

FBI Kills Utah Man That Threatened Biden

By: Shane Masterson September 28, 2023


The First Amendment of the United States Constitution covers a good deal of liberties; it grants American citizens their religious freedoms, their freedom of expression, and the ability to petition the government. What it does not permit, however, are “true threats,” defined by the ACLU as a statement that “threatens another person with death or serious bodily harm, and whose language is reasonably perceived as threatening.”

Craig Robertson of Utah made a threat of this nature against President Joe Biden, and paid the ultimate price. On August 9, FBI agents shot Robertson dead in his home after obtaining a warrant. The incident occurred ahead of Biden’s planned stop in Utah for a stop at a veteran’s hospital to tout the PACT act, which the President says will expand veteran benefits. The AP reports that Biden was briefed after the FBI raided Robertson’s home.

Robertson had been making various threats against the President online, stating that he would be “cleaning the dust off the M24 sniper rifle” and posting various other weapons and military equipment. He also indicated his interest in a “presidential assassination,” stating that “the time is right for a presidential assassination or two. First Joe then Kamala,” in September 2022.

The President, however, was not the only person Robertson had targeted with threats. Those he had disdain towards included U.S Attorney General Merrick Garland and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who are involved in the criminal proceedings of former President Donald Trump. Trump has racked up a total of four indictments on both state and federal statutes. The threats against Bragg are what originally tipped the FBI off to Robertson’s comments; an avid “MAGA Trumper,” Robertson had posted about Bragg on Trump-backed Truth Social, saying that he wanted to “put a nice hole in his forehead.”

Although Robertson’s threats were certainly viewed as concerning and did threaten immediate violence, members of his community described him as a frail, elderly man that posed little realistic threat -- though, notably, some that knew him were aware and worried about his social media postings and extensive gun collection.

Robertson’s case is a prime example of the limits of freedom of speech, and credence to the fact that the nearly boundless freedom to criticize the government that we enjoy as Americans stops when violence becomes a possibility.

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