After allegedly tweeting threats directed toward President-elect Donald Trump, 24-year-old Zachary Benson has found himself in hot water, and in danger of some serious time behind bars. The Ohio native took to Twitter to express his discontent over the results of the election, but did so with some rather concerning language.
In the hours following Trump’s victory in the November 8 election, Benson allegedly tweeted, “Diplomacy. Fucking Fools. I hate you all. I want to bomb every one of your voting booths and your general areas.” Just a few minutes later, at around 1:42 a.m. ET on November 9, officials say he posted on Twitter again, writing “My life goal is to assassinate Trump. Don’t care if I serve infinite sentences. That man deserves to decease existing.”
Benson’s tweets and Twitter account have since been deleted. Benson was released Thursday on a $20,000 unsecured bond after being arrested on November 10, according to a report.
Benson is accused of threatening the president or president-elect, which is illegal in the United States. While a number of similar threats were tweeted early November 9, it seems as though Benson is the first person to be arrested in conjunction with expressing those kind of sentiments.
According to an affidavit released by Phillip Hogan, a Secret Service agent, Benson admitted to composing the tweets. He did say, however, that he “had a couple of drinks before going home,” which may have contributed to the violent nature of his tweets. “Benson said he never had any intentions behind any of the posts and was just frustrated …,” the agent wrote, adding that when Benson awoke the next day, he realized he “went too far,” and deleted the tweets.
In the affidavit, Hogan wrote, “Benson said he isn’t a violent person and is rather antisocial and introverted. He feels that he is probably depressed … [and] has a hard time making friends and socializing with people.”
Benson’s case will be handled by a federal grand jury, which will decide if criminal charges should be pursued.