The FBI’s shooting of a Provo man isn’t the first time Utahns have threatened to assassinate a president

Hours before Air Force One landed in Utah last week, FBI agents shot dead a man who was threatening to kill President Joe Biden, casting a shadow over the visit.

According to court records, Provo resident Craig Robertson, 75, posted on social media, “I heard Biden is coming to Utah.”

“I’m going to dig out my old Gille suit and clean the dust off the M24 sniper rifle,” the post continued. “WELCOME, Big Bang! (sic)”

The federal prosecutor brought charges against the man because of the threats. When the FBI showed up at his doorstep early in the morning on August 9, he allegedly pointed a gun at them before being fatally shot.

While deadly altercations have not preceded other presidential visits in recent years, prosecutions for threats against presidents in Utah are not uncommon.

Under the Criminal Code, it is illegal to “knowingly and intentionally deposit any letter, paper, writ, pamphlet, writing or document which contains a danger of transmission by mail or of service by a post office or postman” with the taking the life of the President or inflicting bodily harm on him”.

Over the years, several Utah residents have been arrested for threatening a president.

Since 2000, there have been at least five instances of threats against presidents in Utah. The Salt Lake Tribune does not name the Utahns in these resolved cases:

George W Bush


In March 2001, a Utah man “knowingly and knowingly threatened to take the life of the President of the United States,” according to an indictment.

The Deseret News reported at the time that the man called the FBI and asked, “What if I kill your president?” What do you think of that?”

He was sentenced to prison and two years’ supervised release. During his supervision, his parole officer reported that the man made another threat against the president in 2004.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) President George W. Bush waves upon his arrival in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 28, 2008.

A federal judge then ordered him sent to the US Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Missouri for a psychological evaluation, and the court later found that he was “currently suffering from a mental illness.” In 2010 he was released from supervision.


While being held at Utah State Prison in Draper, a man sent a letter to the White House addressed to then-President George W. Bush threatening to kill him, First Lady Laura Bush and their daughters.

In a statement submitted to federal court, he wrote, “I stated in the letter that I would drink the blood of my victims, and I warned the President that he should not have run for a second term.” I have the letter with me signed my name and also noted my prisoner number and housing unit number on the letter and the envelope.”

A Secret Service agent interviewed the man, and he admitted to sending the letter. He later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to over four years in prison followed by three years of supervised release.


According to court records, another man, who was being held in Utah State Penitentiary, sent a letter to Bush threatening to kill him and “blow up” the White House.

The man, who was reportedly diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in the 1970s, underwent a psychological evaluation. The court ruled that he was fit to stand trial and sentenced him to over four years in federal prison.

Barack Obama


An employee at Zions First National Bank in St. George reported that a man came to the bank with a check for $85,000 and asked to open a savings account. He asked if the bank was “solvent,” then reportedly said, “Given the whole mess that President (Barack) Obama has with the banks and the economy, I’m sure the citizens will stand up if they lose their money and we could.” see killing and death.”

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The man returned a few weeks later to withdraw over $12,000 from his account. When a cashier handed him the money, he reportedly said, “We’re on a mission to kill the President of the United States.”

A secret service agent initiated investigations into the man, who originally came from New York. The agent said in an affidavit submitted to federal court that the man had at least eight registered firearms, ranging from semi-automatic pistols to revolvers.

After the man’s arrest, a federal judge ordered a psychological evaluation to “determine the defendant’s mental capacity and sanity at the time of the crime.” The court found he was unfit to stand trial and ordered that he be admitted to a federal hospital in North Carolina for treatment.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) President Barack Obama meets with Henry B. Eyring and Church leaders during a visit to Utah on Thursday, April 2, 2015.

donald trump


Two weeks after the 2016 presidential election, a woman from Utah posted a Facebook threat to kill then-President Donald Trump.

Court documents show that she wrote: “I will kill the President of the United States and leave this country to the black community because I know that all the white people in it will become their slaves and that’s what they deserve if they go now.” be silent.” “

The Secret Service interviewed the woman in December, and she confirmed the threat was aimed at Trump. In June 2017, months after Trump’s inauguration, she reposted a threat to the President and Vice President on Facebook, saying, “Tick Tock Mike and Donald, I’m going to kill you both” and later, “I challenge you, on me.” to doubt.”

The woman was sentenced to prison and three years’ supervised release.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) President Donald Trump is surrounded by Utah’s elected officials Monday, December 4, 2017 at the Utah Capitol as he signs a presidential declaration reducing the size of Bears Ears National Monument.

Justin Scaccy

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