Massachusetts Dem donor accused of barging into GOP HQ, threatening to bring weapon

Retired lawyer and big money Dem donor Hugh Samson allegedly stormed into MassGOP headquarters calling staffer ‘fascists’ for not wearing masks

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A retired lawyer and high-dollar Democratic Party donor accused of barging into Massachusetts GOP headquarters months ago, screaming that the staffers were "fascists" for not wearing COVID-19 masks and threatening to later "come back with a weapon" was arraigned in court on Wednesday. 

Hugh Samson, 72, of Nahant, Massachusetts, was arraigned in Woburn District court Wednesday on a charge of disorderly conduct in connection to the incident and was released on his own recognizance, the Boston Herald reported. His next court appearance is scheduled on June 14. 

Samson has been ordered to stay away from MassGOP headquarters, in addition to all employees.

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The Massachusetts Republican Party has been pushing for Samson to additionally be charged with threatening to commit violence. The party said Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan has confirmed prosecutors will ask the judge assigned to the case to reconsider a previous request denied by a magistrate regarding pursuing a threat to commit violence charge. 

According to the state GOP, Samson was donning a pink mask on Feb. 9 when he walked into the MassGOP headquarters unannounced and barged into a conference room where staffers were meeting. 

Google streetview of the Massachusetts Republican Party headquarters in Woburn, Massachusetts. 

Google streetview of the Massachusetts Republican Party headquarters in Woburn, Massachusetts.  (Goggle Maps)

Eyewitness reports claim Samson identified himself by name before pulling out his phone to take staffers’ photos and accusing them of being "fascists." Additionally, Samson allegedly told staffers he planned on reporting them to law enforcement for not wearing masks and being "breathed on."

Once staff were able to reach police by phone, Samson exited the office, allegedly shouting, "what if I came back with a weapon?" An employee of another business across the hall witnessed the exchange. From her office window overlooking the parking lot, the employee said she was able to spot Samson driving away from the building in a black Toyota Prius, according to the state GOP. 

The Herald reported that Samson also demanded that staffers tell him whether the Massachusetts Republican Party directed the riot at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021.

Samson’s defense attorney, Kevin Mitchell, argued during a March 10 magistrate hearing that Samson’s comment about bringing back a weapon was meant as sarcasm to suggest that Republicans see carrying weapons as "legitimate political discourse," according to the Herald. 

The remark, Mitchell argued, was intended to be "obnoxious" and "provoke a response, but not a violent response" and should be protected under the First Amendment as "political hyperbole."  

MassGOP said a search of federal and state campaign finance reports show Samson has donated more than $150,000 to Democrats and Democrat Party causes over the last several decades. Since the Feb. 9 incident, Federal Election Commission contribution records show that Samson donated more than $6,300 to political action committees and other outfits aligned with the Democrat Party.

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Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons on Wednesday thanked the district attorney’s office and the Woburn Police Department for their "continued pursuit to hold Mr. Samson accountable for his criminal behavior."