“We the people can’t WAIT to water the trees of freedom with your blood,” Bies reportedly wrote in an Aug. 10 post. “I’ll be waiting for you to break down my door.”
Bies was arrested Friday night, according to a Justice Department Press release. He is accused of threatening to assault or kill a federal law enforcement officer. Bies appeared in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on Monday afternoon, and a federal judge has scheduled a hearing for Thursday to determine whether he should remain locked up while the case against him progresses.
Court records do not mention an attorney for Bies. The federal prosecutor assigned to his case did not immediately return a request for comment from the Washington Post on Tuesday morning.
Bies’ arrest came days after FBI agents searched the Mar-a-Lago Club on August 8, sparking a firestorm among conservative politicians and commentators. As Trump supporters demonstrated outside the compound that night, Fox News host Sean Hannity distilled many of their criticisms, denouncing the search as “a dark day for our republic, the Justice Department , Right wing state”. The post office reported.
Hannity warned her viewers that they might be next.
“Make no mistake about it,” the host said, “if you’re associated with Donald Trump in any way, you better cross all your i’s and dot all your t’s because they come seek you out with the full force of the federal government.”
Stephen K. Bannon, a conservative podcaster and former Trump adviser, was more blunt, calling the FBI “the Gestapo.”
“We are at war,” he said.
Such rhetoric has led FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, who was appointed to the post by Trump in 2017, to denounce online threats against federal agents and the Justice Department as “deplorable and dangerous.” The Associated Press reported.
“I’m always concerned about threats against law enforcement,” Wray said. “Violence against law enforcement is not the solution, no matter who you’re mad at.”
A day later, Ricky Shiffer, a 42-year-old Iraq War veteran, allegedly attempted to break into an FBI field office in Cincinnati, then engaged in a hours-long confrontation with ISIS forces. order that ended when he was killed in a shootout. Shiffer had come to the attention of the FBI for engaging in possible extremist behavior in the previous months, but the information gathered by the agents “did not contain a specific and credible threat”. The post office reported.
An account in Shiffer’s name on Truth Social, Trump’s social media site, posted 374 posts in the eight days leading up to the attack on the FBI office, many of which replicated Trump’s false claims about voter fraud, according The post office. After FBI agents searched the Mar-a-Lago Club, Shiffer’s posts called for all-out war, urging people to “get everything you need to be ready for battle.”
“Be prepared to kill the enemy,” Shiffer reportedly posted two days before the clash. “Kill [the FBI] on sight.”
A day after Shiffer’s death, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security issued a joint intelligence announcement to their employees warning of “violent threats” against federal law enforcement, other government employees and official facilities, The post office reported.
In the memo, DOJ officials said their online monitoring found many people calling for “civil war” and “armed rebellion.”
On Monday, the Fox News host Steve Doocy implored Trump to urge his supporters to “stifle the rhetoric”.
“With all these threats going around, it would ultimately be great if the former president, who has always been a huge supporter of law enforcement… it would be great if he called for an end to the violent rhetoric against law enforcement. federal law enforcement and, in particular, the FBI,” Doocy said on “Fox & Friends.”
Like Shiffer, Bies reportedly issued anti-FBI screeds in the days following the Mar-a-Lago raid. Bies repeatedly threatened FBI employees – taunting them, calling them “scumbags” who “deserve a painful death,” the FBI agent wrote in the affidavit. On August 10, Bies reportedly said that anyone who “works for the FBI in any capacity, from the director to the janitor who cleans their… toilets, deserves to die.”
“You declared war on us and now it’s open season on YOU,” Bies wrote in the post, according to the affidavit.
The FBI agent who investigated Bies’ alleged threats said he tried to evade law enforcement by using a fake name online. In fact, Bies said as much in the chat logs as Gab passed on to the FBI, explaining that he used a pseudonym “so the Murica company” couldn’t Google me a job.
Gab’s records also included an IP address, which led the FBI to Bies’ home in Mercer, Pennsylvania.
In one of the messages that caught the FBI’s attention, Bies allegedly wrote that he had accepted what he believed was an “inevitable outcome” – he would die at the hands of the FBI.
“My only goal is to kill more before I go down,” he said, according to the affidavit. “I will not spend a second of my life in their care.”
On Tuesday morning, he was locked up in a jail about 20 miles north of Pittsburgh.