WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) issued the following statement after a federal judge ordered the release of Christopher Hasson, a self-described white nationalist who plotted to kill Rep. Waters, several Members of Congress, and journalists:
“I am deeply appalled by Judge Charles Day’s decision yesterday to release Christopher Hasson, a devout and self-described white nationalist Nazi sympathizer, from federal custody because of federal prosecutors’ decision not to charge Hasson under federal terrorism, attempted murder, and other statutes outlawing threats of violence against federal officials. This is outrageous. Federal agents found 15 firearms, many rifles, and over 1000 rounds of ammunition inside of Hasson’s basement apartment in Silver Spring, MD – mere miles from the Capitol where many of his targets work. Agents also uncovered Hasson’s admiration of Andres Breivik, a right-wing extremist who was convicted of killing 77 people in a 2011 bomb-and-shooting attack in Norway. Investigators also found a letter Hasson had drafted to a known American neo-Nazi leader. In that letter, Hasson described himself as a white nationalist for over 30 years and advocated for focused violence in order to establish a white homeland. In that letter Hasson wrote: “We need a white homeland as Europe seems lost. How long we can hold out there and prevent niggerization of the Northwest until whites wake up on their own or are forcibly made to make a decision whether to roll over and die or stand up remains to be seen.
“There is no credible justification that can explain why a federal judge would allow someone as clearly dangerous and unrepentant as Hasson to walk free while he awaits trial. Christopher Hasson is a terrorist. He targeted for execution the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Richard Blumenthal, me, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, several Democratic candidates running against Donald Trump for the presidency including Senators Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris, and he targeted members of the press from networks and outlets the president has referred to as “enemies of the people.” There is no reason this white nationalist should be free to potentially carryout additional threats if he so desired. I am as disgusted with the judge’s decision to release this menace back into society as I am with the U.S. Attorneys for failing to use every available avenue available to ensure Hasson was kept behind bars until his trial.
“Those of us in Congress and among the President’s “enemies of the people” cannot be assured that Hasson would be kept at bay with the minimal level of oversight the federal judge would prescribe. Even more alarming, Hasson is but one of a growing list of radicalized white supremacist neo-Nazi sympathizers who are all supporters of President Trump and view it as their mission to vindicate and defend his supremacy – even by means of mass violence and devastation. These extremists are becoming more vocal and brazen in their efforts. I have been the target of several very serious threats from across the country in the last year because of my vocal opposition to the Trump Administration’s policies. There have already been five convictions in these instances, including Cesar Sayoc, another self-described white nationalist who mailed pipe bombs to high profile Democrats last year.
“This is an outrage and the Judge’s decision cannot stand. The Department of Justice must take action, lest anyone presume the Administration implicitly condones the federal judge’s decision to go easy on a white nationalist. Moreover, Members of Congress must now recognize that many of us who have taken hardline positions against the Trump Administration are walking targets and we must use every resource at our disposal to protect ourselves since we cannot expect any assistance from the current Administration.”