Jan. 11, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
A Rockaway Beach senior — who referred to former President Donald Trump as “Hitler” — was arrested by federal officials Monday for allegedly threatening to kill the ex-Commander-in-Chief, according to a criminal complaint filed in Brooklyn federal court.
In the complaint, federal authorities accused Thomas Welnicki, 72, of calling up the Secret Service on Jan. 4, 2021, and leaving two voicemails about his intentions to kill the then-sitting president if he refused to step down after losing the 2020 election.
“I am going to do anything I can to take out [Trump],” Welnicki allegedly said in the first voicemail. “Oh yeah that’s a threat, come and arrest me.”
Welnicki, in the second voicemail, said he would aid and abet anyone that would shoot Trump – and said he was traveling to Georgia the following day where he expected Trump to be present.
He also allegedly said there was a $350,000 bounty to kill Trump and 12 members of Congress who supported him, according to the complaint.
The former president is not specifically named in the complaint, although the circumstances in the document make it clear it is Trump.
Welnicki’s threats to kill Trump began months before the 2020 US Presidential election took place, prosecutors say.
In July 21, 2020, Welnicki told the United States Capitol Police in a voluntary interview that if Trump loses the 2020 election and refused to leave office, he would “acquire weapons” and “take him down,” according to the complaint.
Welnicki allegedly bragged about how easy it was for him to acquire a firearm and said, “I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I will stand up to fascism.”
Welnicki’s threats against Trump continued months after the 45th President of the United States had left the White House.
On Nov. 8, 2021, Welnicki called the Secret Service three times and said he would “do everything I can to make sure [Trump] is dead.” During the calls, he repeatedly referred to Trump as “Hitler” and said there was a contract out to kill the former president.
Weeks earlier Welnicki had called up the Secret Service and asked about the agency’s protection of former U.S. Presidents, including their children, and also asked what weapons they used.
In yet another call to the Secret Service on Dec. 2, 2021, Welnicki said he possessed a .22-caliber weapon and that a new civil war could break out.
“Taking up arms against the government is justified when ballots don’t matter,” he allegedly told the agency.
Welnicki is charged with knowingly and willfully threatening to kill, kidnap, and inflict bodily harm upon a former President. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted.
Magistrate Judge Vera Scanlon ordered Welnicki to be released on a $50,000 bond backed by his brother. Bail conditions include GPS monitoring and home curfew, the New York Post reported.
Welnicki must also attend mental health and alcohol treatment. He is barred from any contact with Trump and his family and cannot go to any of Trump’s properties, Scanlon said.