Prosecutors said that a man who was involved in the January 6 Insurrection at the Capitol threatened to blow up government buildings before he was arrested in former president and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama’s Washington D.C., neighborhood on Friday (June 30).
According to Politico, Taylor Taranto retrieved the Obamas’ address from Donald Trump who posted it on his Truth Social platform.
[Taylor] Taranto used his own Truth Social account to re-post the address,” prosecutors wrote in court papers filed Wednesday. “On Telegram, Taranto then stated, ‘We got these losers surrounded! See you in hell, [John] Podesta’s and Obama’s.’ “
Soon, prosecutors say, Taranto again began livestreaming from his van on his YouTube channel while was driving through the Kalorama neighborhood, which is where the Obamas reside.
Per the report, Taranto was on a weeklong rampage displaying “erratic and menacing behavior escalated the urgency from law enforcement to find him.” When he encroached the Obamas’ neighborhood, which was under Secret Service protection, law enforcement officials monitored his movements where he said he discovered an entrance to the Obamas’ home.
“I didn’t tell anyone where he lives ’cause I want him all to myself,” Taranto told his audience on the live stream.
Additionally, Taranto shared on his live stream that he would bomb the National Institute of Standards and Technology adding that Speaker Kevin McCarthy “can’t stop what’s coming,” and he entered an elementary school in Maryland near the home of Rep. Jamie Raskin. He also threatened the lives of other Democratic representatives, prosecutors stated.
Taranto said that he chose the elementary school due to its proximity to Raskin's home and targeted him because “he's one of the guys that hates January 6 people, or more like Trump supporters, and it's kind of like sending a shockwave through him because I did nothing wrong,” prosecutors said quoting Taranto’s words.
Taranto, who is a resident of Washington state and has been living out of a van for two months, was arrested with two firearms, a Smith and Wesson M&P Shield and a Ceska 9mm CZ Scorpion E3. Eighteen other guns that are registered in his name have not yet been recovered, authorities said.
Also “hundreds of rounds of nine-millimeter ammunition, a steering wheel lock, and a machete,” were found. Prosecutors expressed their concern that Taranto may have had other accomplices that supported him.
“Since his arrest, at least two of his social media accounts appear to have either deleted information or been deleted entirely,” the prosecutors said “It is unknown at this time who is deleting these accounts, but there is a concern that if released, Taranto will continue to attempt to destroy evidence.”
At his hearing in federal court on Wednesday (July 5), Taranto’s lawyer Kathryn Guevara claimed that the government’s case was “hyperbole” saying that Taranto, a military vet who did tours of duty in Iraq, “had been receiving regular therapy for PTSD and has no criminal history.”
"What we are talking about here is protected activity under the Constitution," Guevara said. "What we have is a lot of talk. A lot of hyperbole … a lot of incendiary language to get attention."
During the hearing, U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui said that he doesn’t consider Taranto a flight risk but that he could be a danger to the community.
On Thursday, Faruqui will hear more arguments which may include testimony from Taranto’s wife, who was present at Wednesday’s hearing.