Alaska Man Threatened to Kill Sen. Murkowski in Phone Calls to Her Office, Authorities Say

An Alaska man is facing federal charges after he allegedly threatened to hire an assassin to kill Senator Lisa Murkowski, authorities said, according to court documents unsealed Wednesday.

The man allegedly left death threats via Murkowski's voicemail, including a separate threat to her Washington, D.C., office where he asked the senator if she knew what a .50 caliber shell does to a human head.

Murkowski was not named in the FBI's affidavit, but Karina Borger, a spokesperson for Murkowski, confirmed in an email to the Associated Press that the senator was listed in the affidavit as "Senator 1."

"Threats should be taken seriously and our laws should be enforced to ensure accountability," Borger said in a follow-up email to the AP. "Senator Murkowski is thankful for the hard work of the federal law enforcement and for all they do to keep us safe."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Sen. Lisa Murkowski
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski allegedly received multiple threatening voicemails from a caller who said he would hire an assassin to kill her, authorities said. Murkowski asks questions during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing to discuss reopening schools during COVID-19 on September 30 in Washington. Greg Nash, Pool/Getty Images

Jay Allen Johnson, 65, of Delta Junction was scheduled to make his first appearance in U.S. District Court in Fairbanks Wednesday for making threats against Murkowski and another senator, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

The two senators were not named by the U.S. Attorney's office or in an affidavit outlining the investigation filed by Matthew Patrick Allen Oudbier, an FBI special agent assigned to the Anchorage office.

Johnson was arrested Monday and was being held at the Fairbanks Correctional Complex. Gary Colbath, a federal public defender, has been assigned the case and didn't immediately return a phone message to the AP seeking comment. Charging documents in the cases were filed October 1 under seal, which was lifted Wednesday.

Johnson faces several charges, including threatening to murder a U.S. official with intent to intimidate or impede that person while conducting their official duties, making interstate threats and threatening to damage property by fire or explosives, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.

The phone system at the senators' offices captures the phone number of the person calling. An investigation into the number led law enforcement to a woman identified only by the initials "CP" who married Johnson in Texas in 2016, the affidavit said. Further investigation matched the number to both Johnson and CP, and both to a post office box and a physical address in Delta Junction, the court documents said.

Delta Junction, a community of just under 1,000 residents, is located about 100 miles (161 kilometers) southeast of Fairbanks.

In the affidavit, the last four digits of the telephone number are redacted but the area code and first three digits of the phone number are the same and used in all the calls, the affidavit said.

In the affidavit, the senators are only referred to by the numbers 1 and 2.

It states that on September 29, a voice message left at the office of Senator 1, or Murkowski, was directed to the senator by name and the caller threatened to hire an assassin. The message said, "resign or get the f**k gone, or die," according to the affidavit.

Another voicemail had been left at Murkowski's office on September 2. The caller said: "I will find out everything, where you're at. I will find out all of your properties and I will burn everything you hope to have, and I will burn everything you hope to own."

The caller then said he'll use his skills as a veteran: "50 caliber shell, you ever see what that does to a f**king human head?"

Officials said Murkowski's office also received four other voicemails from the same telephone number between August and September.

The affidavit also said Senator 2 received 13 voice messages between April to September, and in several the caller identified himself as Jay Johnson. In another, the caller gave that name along with an address in Delta Junction, the court documents said. No details of those calls were released.

A message left with a spokesperson for Alaska's other U.S. senator, Dan Sullivan, was not immediately returned to the Associated Press.