Maine Politician Allegedly Pointed Gun at Staffer in Argument Over Crypto, COVID Meds

A Maine politician who unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate in 2020 is accused of pointing a gun at a former campaign staffer after an argument over cryptocurrency and COVID-19 cures, according to court documents.

Max Linn denied the allegations made by his former assistant Matt McDonald.

The staffer began working with Linn in 2018 for a Senate campaign. Linn was removed from the Republican primary ballot when he admitted to using fraudulent nomination signatures. McDonald also assisted with the politician's failed bid last year where he earned 1.6 percent of the vote.

According to a protection-from-harassment order application filed by McDonald on Wednesday, their relationship began deteriorating earlier this year.

Court documents allege that Linn gave McDonald money in 2021 to invest in cryptocurrency on his behalf. The politician later traveled to Indonesia with his wife for a few months.

Upon Linn's return, he told McDonald that he wanted to use the cryptocurrency to purchase drugs from the country that are inaccurately attributed to curing COVID-19. McDonald opposed Linn's idea.

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A Maine politician is accused of pointing a gun at a former campaign staffer after an argument over cryptocurrency and COVID-19 cures, according to court documents. Pictured is a customer shopping for a pistol at Freddie Bear Sports sporting goods store on December 17, 2012 in Tinley Park, Illinois Scott Olson/Getty Images

In late summer, the former colleagues met in Bar Harbor, Maine, to rectify the situation. However, during the meeting, Linn allegedly pointed a handgun in McDonald's direction, according to court documents. He said that he's spent the past month ensuring his family's safety, and was advised to pursue the order of protection by police.

"I went to court because I believe my family could be in danger," McDonald told the Bangor Daily News.

Steve Juskewitch, the attorney representing Linn, denied McDonald's claims that his client wanted to use the money to buy drugs and that Linn threatened the former staffer with a gun. Juskewitch confirmed that Linn gave McDonald $225,000 to invest in cryptocurrency.

The lawyer said McDonald's allegations against his client are "pure fabrication to divert attention from the cryptocurrency dispute." He added that he had been working on closing a deal with McDonald in recent days to transfer access, but nothing has been agreed to, according to the Bangor Daily News.

Linn, a retired financial planner, ran for several public offices in Florida, including a campaign for governor in 2006 as a Reform Party candidate. He made headlines that year for landing a plane on Interstate 4 in Orlando.

In 2018, Linn entered Maine politics as a pro-Trump Republican hopeful. He initially qualified for the ballot, but a challenger's campaign raised concerns that Linn was using signatures from dead people or those who never signed for him on the nominating petition.

Before the election, Linn acknowledged several signatures on the petition were fraudulent, but that he didn't know who was responsible and he was removed from the running.

Linn ran as an independent two years later and finished last behind Sen. Susan Collins, Democrat Sara Gideon and independent Lisa Savage with less than two percent of the vote. During the campaign, Linn gained attention for refusing to answer debate questions.

A judge granted McDonald's temporary protection order and Linn is not allowed to contact or go near his former colleague. A hearing has been scheduled for November 17 in Hancock County District Court.