A federal judge has dismissed the criminal case against Russell Warren, a Michigan man accused of threatening President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia Morris made the decision after a preliminary examination where arguments from both the government and the defense were presented. Morris cited a lack of probable cause for further proceedings as the basis for dismissing the case.
Following the dismissal, Russell Warren, the defendant, was released from the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service.
Judge Morris clarified that during the hearing, Warren did not explicitly express any intention to harm President Biden or Vice President Harris.
Instead, his message on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, called on someone or others to ‘take’ the officials, with the suggestion that they be taken to prison where they would face legal consequences such as hanging, carried out by law enforcement and the courts.
Morris emphasized that Warren did not make threats of physically harming or kidnapping the officials to any secluded place.
The charges against Warren, filed on Monday, included making threats to ki*ll the president, vice president, and other senior U.S. government officials.
His X account displayed numerous messages where he threatened various public figures, including journalists, celebrities, former Cabinet members from the Trump administration, 2024 presidential candidates, and other politicians.
Additionally, he made threats to target landmarks such as the Smithsonian museums, Air Force One, Disney theme parks, One World Trade Center, Mount Rushmore, and others.
The U.S. Secret Service identified Russell Warren through his IP address and arrested him on January 29. Notably, he had previously faced charges of assault with a deadly weapon in 2022.
The charge of making threats against the president and other senior government officials carries the potential for a prison sentence of up to five years if the accused is convicted.
The dismissal by Judge Morris, based on a lack of probable cause, brings an unexpected turn to a case that initially raised concerns about threats against top government officials.