California Man Charged With Threatening Washington Congressman

A Palm Springs, California man was arrested by the FBI Wednesday morning after being charged with threatening Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash.

Thirty-two year old Charles Turner Habermann is accused of making two threatening phone calls to the congressman's Seattle office on December 9th after a contentious House debate on legislation to extend federal tax rates. The Justice Department says Habermann allegedly disparaged and threatened McDermott and other Democrats for their views on tax cuts and unemployment insurance.

The first call was recorded on the office's answering system and the Justice Department alleges that on that message, Habermann threatened to kill McDermott, his friends and his family. In a second call, Justice officials say he threatened to hire someone to put the congressman "in the trash."

Habermann is charged with threatening a federal official, which can be punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The safety of lawmakers has taken center stage since Saturday's shooting spree in Tucson that killed six people and wounded 14 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who is in critical condition.