Man indicted for threats against POTUS, Clinton

Posted at 4:42 PM, Mar 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-23 16:42:55-04

A two-count indictment was filed in federal court charging Jonathan W. Smead, 35, of Cleveland, with making threats against President Barack Obama and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Acting U.S. Attorney Carole S. Rendon said. 

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Smead knowingly and willingly made a threat to kill, and cause bodily harm to, President Obama on Feb. 28. He did the same for Clinton on the same day.

An affidavit stated on Feb. 28 around 10:16 p.m., the Secret  Service, Chicago Field Office received a call, which was then forwarded to the Cleveland Field Office. The caller asked if the line was recorded. Before the agent could respond, the called said, "I want to kill President Obama." The caller asked if his statement was a federal offense, but continued to speak about past assassins including John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald. He then said he "wants to kill Hillary Clinton." 

The caller identified himself as Smead, provided his social security number and said he was living with his grandmother on Spring Road in Cleveland. Before the call ended, Smead said he "wants federal charges, not little state charges."


Smead told officials he had been watching The West Wing, a fictional television show about the President of the United States, and he was also very interested in past presidents--specifically John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln, who were both assassinated. 

The case is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, with assistance from Cleveland police.