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Judge dismisses case against Michigan man accused of threatening Biden, Harris

BAY CITY, Mich. (AP) — A federal judge on Friday dismissed a criminal case against a northern Michigan man accused of threatening President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

After a preliminary examination in federal court in Bay City, U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia Morris concluded that there was no probable cause and social media posts attributed to Russell Douglas Warren, 48, of Prudenville, did not pose a “true threat,” The Detroit News reported.

Prosecutors said FBI and U.S. Secret Service agents learned that Warren posted a series of messages last week on X, the social media platform formerly know as Twitter, saying Biden and Harris had been condemned and should be imprisoned and executed. Warren called for Biden to be taken to prison “to await execution. He shall be hanged.”

Warren “did not say that he was going to do anything to harm either the president or (Harris),” Morris told the newspaper via email after the hearing. “His message called on someone or others to ‘take’ him or her and he wanted them to be taken to prison where they would be hanged, which would be accomplished by law enforcement and the courts.

“He did not threaten to take or kidnap them to any secluded place nor did he threaten to harm them by his own hands,” Morris added.

Warren’s attorney, federal community defender Bryan Sherer, didn’t immediately return a phone message seeking comment Friday evening.

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