U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Christopher Hasson has been held since February on gun and drug charges, but not on any terrorism charges. And his attorney recently said she doesn’t expect any additional charges to be filed.
This is despite Hasson — a self-described white nationalist who wanted “focused violence” to attain a “white homeland” — having a so-called “hit list” of prominent Democratic elected officials and journalists he allegedly wanted to murder, and prosecutors accusing him of planning to “murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country,” according to NBC.
Some of the people allegedly on Hasson’s hit list include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California), Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), Kamala Harris (D-California), Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York). Hasson also included MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and Joe Scarborough as well as CNN’s Don Lemon on his hit list.
According to federal prosecutors, Hasson allegedly searched for the terms “what if trump is illegally impeached,” “best place in dc to see congress people,” “where in dc to congress people live,” “civil war if trump impeached,” and “social democrats usa,” on his work computer. The last search could be his attempt to search for Democratic Socialists of America, which endorsed Reps. Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan). Hasson also allegedly searched for pro-Russian and pro-fascist messaging. After his home was searched, authorities found 15 guns and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.
Liz Oyer, the attorney representing Hasson, is seeking his release, writing in a recent filing that the possibility of terrorism charges was the only reason her client was remanded to jail while awaiting trial.
“No other crimes have been charged,” Oyer wrote. “Moreover, during a recent status call, government counsel advised the Court and defense counsel that it does not expect to file a superseding indictment in this matter.”
Hasson is currently facing charges of possessing firearm silencers, possessing weapons by a drug addict and unlawful user, and possession of a controlled substance. If convicted on all charges, Hasson could face up to 31 years in prison.
Carl Gibson is a politics contributor for Grit Post. His work has previously been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, and NPR, among others. Follow him on Twitter @crgibs or send him an email at carl at gritpost dot com.