An Ohio man was in court Thursday after reportedly threatening to kill President-elect Donald Trump on Twitter.
Zachary Benson, 24, could face five years in prison if convicted of the federal charge of making threats against the president and successors to the presidency, NBC News said.
The U.S. Secret Service said Benson sent the tweet early Nov. 9, the morning after Trump’s surprising Election Day victory, according to an affidavit included in the criminal complaint.
Benson has since deleted his Twitter account, but the Secret Service reproduced the tweet targeting Trump and others vowing more general violence in the affidavit.
“My life goal is to assassinate Trump,” the tweet allegedly says. “Don’t care if I serve infinite sentences. That man deserves to decease [sic] existing.”
Investigators said Benson realized when he awoke later Nov. 9 he had “went too far” and immediately erased the social media posts. The Secret Service was alerted to the tweets beforehand, however, with Benson admitting he posted them.
Benson allegedly told Secret Service agents he “never had any intentions behind any of the posts.”
NBC News said Benson, who hails from the Cleveland suburb of Fairview Park, was ordered held on $20,000 unsecured bond Thursday in U.S. District Court in Cleveland.
Benson was “just frustrated thinking about how President-elect Trump’s policies could affect [his] job,” according to the affidavit, which did not specify Benson’s profession.
NBC News added Benson waived a preliminary hearing and will face a federal grand jury. No follow-up court date was set.