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Texas woman arrested for threatening judge in Trump documents case

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Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

A Texas woman has been arrested for allegedly making threats against the federal judge who granted former President Donald Trump's request for a special master to review documents FBI agents seized from Mar-a-Lago.

In a criminal complaint, the FBI accused Tiffani Shea Gish of Houston, Texas, with leaving several threatening voicemails for U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who is presiding over Trump's case against the Department of Justice. Gish is charged with making threats to influence a federal official and transmitting in interstate or foreign commerce communications containing threats to injure another person.

According to the affidavit by FBI Special Agent Amy Avila, on Sept. 3, 2022, Judge Cannon turned over three voicemails she received containing threatening messages to Supervisory Deputy United States Marshal Michael Witkowski.

The messages were left on Cannon's answering machine on Sept. 1 by an individual who identified herself as "Evelyn Salt" and claimed to be "in charge of nuclear for the United States government." Excerpts from the voicemails state that Trump was "disqualified" and "marked for assassination" and accused Cannon of "helping him."

"So, here's what we're going to do, we're going to let you disarm f***ing live nukes off your coffee table ... how about you sit on an electric chair a couple times over ... you think you've got the magical ability to pop up from the dead ... pretending that you're on the team of justice," a message left for Cannon said.

The message went on to say Cannon was also "marked for assassination" and "I'm also Trump's hitman, so consider it a bullet to your head from Donald Trump himself."

Another message accused Trump of being responsible for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and made a bomb threat against Cannon's house. The third message threatened to shoot Cannon in front of her children and demanded that she "stand the f*** down."

According to the FBI affidavit, the United States Marshals Service identified the messages as belonging to a cell phone associated to Gish. U.S. Marshals then contacted the Secret Service, which confirmed that previously Gish had also allegedly made threats directed towards former President Donald Trump

Gish was subsequently interviewed by U.S. Marshals. During that interview, she admitted to leaving the voicemails on Cannon's answering machine and told agents she owns the cell phone that made the calls and that no one else has access to it, according to the FBI affidavit. She was arrested on Sept. 6.

On Sept. 9, Gish was ordered to be detained pending her trial by Magistrate Judge Peter Bray of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Bray's order stated that Gish "appears to suffer from severe mental impairments with symptoms including paranoia and delusions."

A hearing to determine whether Gish is competent to stand trial has been scheduled for Sept. 13, 2022.

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