Man pleads guilty to threatening to kill Michigan election worker

An Indiana man has pled guilty to threatening to kill an election worker in Michigan, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Tuesday.

Andrew Nickels, 37, of Carmel, Ind., called the clerk of a local election office and left a voicemail threatening to kill the official shortly after the 2020 election.

According to the information released by the DOJ, Nickels said, “We’re watching you…mouth talk about how you think that there’s no irregularities…[Y]ou frauded our America of a real election.”

Nickels said the official was “gonna pay for it” and added that “ten million plus patriots will surround you when you least expect it.” He said that the group of patriots would kill the employee and that they “deserve a [expletive] throat to the knife,” adding that the official should watch their back.

Nickels pled guilty to one count of threatening interstate communication.

“Election officials and workers play a critical role in safeguarding free and fair elections. The Criminal Division will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute individuals who seek to undermine this core tenet of our democracy by threatening election officials with violence,” Nicole Argentieri, the acting assistant attorney general at the DOJ, said in a statement.

Nickels is scheduled to be sentenced on July 9 and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, the DOJ said.

The FBI’s Detroit Field Office investigated the case. The DOJ said Nickels’ case was part of an ongoing Election Threats Task Force created by Attorney General Merrick Garland in June 2021.

Michigan was one of a few swing states in 2020 that turned from red to blue and helped elect President Biden. Michigan, along with the other swing states, has been at the center of political controversy as election results have been contested and election workers have faced threats and intimidation.

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