Man faces prison for threats to senior lawmaker

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 21, 2011 4:14 PM
Man faces prison for threats to senior  lawmaker

By Tim Ghianni

NASHVILLE, Tenn (Reuters) - A Tennessee man has pleaded guilty to making drunken and profanity-laced telephone threats to U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor and his family.

Glendon Swift, 64, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to threatening a family member of a federal official and accepted prosecutor's recommendation for a 13-month prison sentence for the October 27 calls, according to court documents. He was arrested November 2.

Swift, who lives in Lenoir City outside Knoxville, Tennessee, called the Republican representative's suburban Richmond, Virginia, offices, threatening Cantor and his family and prompting an investigation by U.S. Capitol Police and FBI.

Cantor's staff saved recordings of the calls. They included derogatory comments about Cantor's Jewish faith and threats to "destroy" him, according to court documents.

Swift admitted it was his voice on recordings and told FBI agents he "got drunk the other night and started cussing people out," the documents said.

According to the FBI, the profanity-laced remarks included, "How about if I rape your daughter? How about that, if I come into your house and kill your wife?"

Swift pleaded guilty in federal court in Knoxville. The charge carries up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

Swift's attorney could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. The congressman's office issued his response via email.

"Leader Cantor appreciates the dedicated service of law enforcement and the U.S. Capitol police for their continued efforts to keep members of Congress and their families safe," spokeswoman Laena Fallon said.

Sentencing has been set for April 4.

(Editing by Tim Gaynor and Xavier Briand)