The initial portrait emerging of the man charged with threatening to kill Eric Cantor and his family suggests he’s made similar, if not criminally actionable, threats on dozens of occasions against an ideologically diverse array of public figures.
According to the federal complaint against him, Norman Leboon of Philadelphia has admitted making some 2,000 videos that contained threats. A sampling of his “work” reveals rambling incoherent videos that mix pseudo-religious incantations with random warnings and threats. In one video he addresses President Obama, Vice President Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid by name and says, “Your punishment is coming, the swine, it will be severe, and you will beg for mercy to your god, it will be severe, you will know god’s swine, god has warned you.” (Some conservatives are already chortling over the fact that Leboon contributed to Obama’s 2008 campaign, though it’s not clear what that’s supposed to signify.)
Any connection between Leboon and the randomly fired bullet found in Cantor’s campaign office in Virginia last week? The feds are making no such connection. Assuming Richmond police are right that the bullet was random, could Leboon have made his video after that incident in Virginia became public? That appears unlikely: Leboon told authorities on Saturday that he made the Cantor video “approximately three days” before. Cantor’s press conference announcing the bullet in his office was on Thursday.
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.