- A white supremacist made violent threats against a black Charlottesville man and interfered with the city council election campaign the man had been planning, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
- Daniel McMahon, 31, was charged with willful interference with a candidate for elective office, bias-motivated interference with a candidate for elective office, threats to injure in interstate commerce, and cyberstalking.
- The federal indictment says McMahon made the violent threats against the man less than 24 hours before he was set to announce his campaign. The candidate abruptly decided against running the next day.
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A white supremacist threatened a black Charlottesville man so violently that he dropped out of a planned city council campaign just hours before he was set to announce his candidacy, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
Daniel McMahon, a 31-year-old Florida man, has been indicted on four counts: willful interference with a candidate for elective office, bias-motivated interference with a candidate for elective office, threats to injure in interstate commerce, and cyberstalking.
The indictment didn't name the candidate, but media outlets have said Don Gathers, a well-known activist who co-founded the local Black Lives Matter chapter, had scheduled an event on January 8, 2019, to announce his candidacy then abruptly reversed his decision.
The indictment against McMahon says he used social media on January 7 "to threaten and intimidate a potential candidate," federal prosecutors said.
The indictment also accuses McMahon of using his accounts to convey his "belief that white people are superior to members of other racial, ethnic, and religious groups."
Justin Ide /Reuters
"The alleged targeted and racially motivated actions by Daniel McMahon were an attempt to disrupt the American political process," David W. Archey, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Richmond Division, said in a statement.
The exact threats McMahon made against Gathers remain unclear, but social media posts that advocacy groups have tracked show that McMahon, using the online alias "Jack Corbin," frequently praised racist attacks such as last year's Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh and the Charlottesville car attack that killed Heather Heyer in the summer of 2017.
"Hey Antifa, it's simple," McMahon once wrote on the platform Gab, according to Right Wing Watch. "Wanna know how not to get Dodge Challenged or shot? Don't attack Right Wingers ever."
"Dodge Challenged" appears to be a reference to the model and make of the car Janes Fields Jr. used to ram into protesters and kill Heyer. Fields is currently serving a life sentence in prison.
It's unclear if McMahon has made a plea, but his attorney told the Associated Press that he "categorically denies all of the allegations."
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