Man charged with attempted murder of Justice Kavanaugh

Politics

(NewsNation) — An armed man was arrested near Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Maryland home after making threats against the justice, according to the court.

The man, identified by court documents as 26-year-old Nicholas John Roske, faces a federal charge of attempted murder after he was found carrying at least one weapon. A Supreme Court spokesperson told NewsNation he “made threats” against Kavanaugh.

Spokeswoman Patricia McCabe told NewsNation that Roske was transported to Montgomery County Police 2nd District. He was taken into custody with a gun and burglary tools and is currently in federal custody. The FBI is leading the investigation into the incident.

Roske, who is from California, did not make it to Kavanaugh’s property, but was instead stopped on a nearby street, people familiar with the investigation told The Washington Post. According to the newspaper, the man was angry about a leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion signaling justices are prepared to overturn Roe v. Wade — which guaranteed a nationwide right to abortion — as well as recent mass shootings.

Roske was apprehended after he called 911 in Montgomery County, Maryland, and said he was having suicidal thoughts and planned to kill Kavanaugh, having found the justice’s address online. Roske was still on the phone when Montgomery County police arrived on the scene, according to the affidavit.

A taxi dropped Roske off just outside of Kavanaugh’s suburban Washington home shortly after 1 a.m. Roske was dressed in black and had a Glock 17 pistol, ammunition, a knife, zip ties, pepper spray and duct tape. He told police he intended to break into the justice’s house and kill him.

Two U.S. marshals who are on guard duty at Kavanaugh’s home spotted Roske shortly after he was dropped off by the taxi. He was apprehended only after he called 911 on himself.

“I think I have a reasonable understanding, but I wouldn’t say I’m thinking clearly,” Roske told a judge in court when asked if he understood what was happening and if he was thinking clearly.

Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters this type of behavior “would not be tolerated.”

“Threats of violence and actual violence against the justices of course strike at the heart of our democracy and we will do everything we can to prevent them and to hold people who do them accountable,” Garland said.

President Joe Biden praised authorities for quickly apprehending the man, deputy White House press secretary Andrew Bates said in an email.

There have been protests outside U.S. Supreme Court justices’ homes since the Supreme Court opinion was first made public by Politico, including Kavanaugh’s residence and Justice Samuel Alito’s. Republican lawmakers were quick to condemn these protests, while Attorney General Merrick Garland directed U.S. marshals to provide additional support “to ensure the safety of the justices,” according to the Department of Justice.

Demonstrations have taken place at the Supreme Court, as well. A security fence rings the building and nearby streets have been closed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This story is developing. Refresh for updates.

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