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Militia Organizer Threatens to Arrest Stabenow Over Iran Deal

The man threatening Stabenow claims strong ties to a Michigan militia group. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Capitol Police are investigating a man identifying himself as an "Oathkeeper" and an "American Patriot who has everything to lose" who has threatened to arrest Sen. Debbie Stabenow for treason because of her support for the Iran nuclear deal.  

Jon Ritzheimer, the Arizona resident who reportedly attracted FBI attention when he organized an anti-Muslim protest rally and "draw Muhammad" cartoon contest at a Phoenix mosque, shared his plan to organize with fellow U.S. Marines in an open letter posted online Monday. "We are planning on arresting Senator Debbie Stabenow, who voted yes to the Iran Nuke Deal. She will be arrested for treason under Article 3 Section 3 of the Constitution," states the letter. "We have chosen her as our first target due to our strong ties with the Michigan State Militia and their lax gun laws that will allow us to operate in a manner necessary for an operation like this."  

Ritzheimer, 31, claims that after successfully detaining the Michigan Democrat, he and his armed militia "will continue to move across the country and arrest everyone involved with the Iran Nuke Deal" including the president.  

A Stabenow aide cited an office policy not to comment on security matters, when asked about the threats by CQ Roll Call.  

"The US Capitol Police are aware and are working with local law enforcement in Michigan on the matter," said Capt. Kimberly Schneider in an email inquiry about the threat.  

Ritzheimer stated he has notified law enforcement about his intentions, and plans to cooperate with them "and try to keep this as smooth as possible so we don’t have another 'Shot Heard Round The World' situation." He is also seeking donations for his mission.  

Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report. Related: Congress Worried About Members Touching the Pope Pope Visit Comes During Tumultuous Time for Capitol Police Marine Had Two Loaded Guns, 114 Live Rounds Outside Capitol, Police Say Marine Corps Fellow Arrested for Having Gun on Capitol Grounds Capitol Police Sergeant Suspended in Gun-in-Bathroom Probe Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.