Man Sent Racist Death Threat Signed as 'KKK' to Maxine Waters: Feds

A California man has been charged with mailing threatening communications after he allegedly sent a death threat featuring racist language to Representative Maxine Waters in 2019 and signed it from the "KKK."

Michael Anthony Gallagher, a 71-year-old man, was charged with a federal offense in San Francisco on Wednesday that carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years. He pleaded not guilty.

Gallagher allegedly sent a postcard to Waters, a Democrat who represents California's 43rd congressional district, on January 8, 2019, that appeared to threaten her life.

The postcard used a racial slur aimed members of the Latino community and was signed "KKK," most likely a reference to the racist organization the Ku Klux Klan.

The message read: "The Stanislaus County Sheriff says you and your ******* are ****."

"We will successfully put a bullet through your head. -+KKK," it said.

A criminal complaint against Gallagher was filed last January but remains sealed. The contents of the postcard were revealed in court filings on Wednesday.

Gallagher first appeared in court in March last year and he was then released.

Waters has been the subject of several death threats in recent years and was one of several high profile Democrats who were mailed pipe bombs in 2018 by Florida man Cesar Seyoc. He later pleaded guilty to mailing 16 improvised explosive devices to 13 targets and was sentenced to 20 years.

Other targets of the pipe bombs included then former Vice President Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, CNN and actor Robert De Niro.

The congresswoman has addressed the threats she's received in the past. She linked an increase in threats against her to former President Donald Trump's rhetoric.

In October, 2019 Waters told MSNBC's Ali Velshi: "I have death threats constantly."

At the time, Trump was publicly criticizing an anonymous whistleblower whose complaint prompted the first impeachment inquiry into the then president's phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"There are a number of people who have been convicted for threatening to kill me. And when he does that, he's dog-whistling to the white supremacists, the KKK and the dangerous people," she said.

In March this year, Waters' office issued a statement about death threats made against her following threatening phone messages from a man from Kansas and another man from Mississippi. Her office said the matter was being investigated by Capitol Police.

"The uptick in death threats against Congresswoman Waters began during former President Donald Trump's term—including a threat made just weeks before the Capitol attack," the statement said.

"The threats to Rep. Waters persist today due to his refusal to accept the results of the 2020 election and his ongoing, implicit support and encouragement of domestic terrorists in the United States," it said.

Newsweek has asked Representative Maxine Waters for comment.

Maxine Waters Speaks at a House Committee
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Maxine Waters (D-CA) speaks during a House Financial Services Committee Hearing on Capitol Hill on April 9, 2019, in Washington, DC. A man in California has been charged with mailing threatening communications to Waters and could face up to 10 years in prison. Zach Gibson/Getty Images