A podcaster said he was “harassed” by two police officers at his home in California and accused of threatening Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., on Twitter – a claim he calls outrageous and proven false.
The Twitter user, who passes @queeralamode, asks the police and the MP for answers on why he was found at his home on Thursday. He said the experience had left him “upset” and “feeling[ing] very dangerous in my house at the moment. “
A spokeswoman for Ocasio-Cortez said the MP had not called for the investigation.
“No, we didn’t report him,” spokeswoman Lauren Hitt told Fox News on Friday. “We asked the Capitol Police last night to look into what happened here and we are awaiting further information.”
Twitter user, @queeralamode, lists any name or location on the side profile to say he’s co-host of two podcasts. But the user posted a letter about the incident of his alleged employer, Maffick LLC, who identified him as Ryan Wentz. (Twitter tagged Maffick as Media affiliated with the Russian state).
The user also tweeted an article about the encounter with police from thegrayzone.com which also identified @queeralamode as Ryan Wentz, “an anti-war activist” and producer of the online show Soapbox.
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The user did not immediately respond to a Twitter message from a Fox News reporter.
In his Twitter posts, the podcaster argued. that a seemingly uncontroversial tweet he made about Ocasio-Cortez’s “insanely disappointing” response to a question about Palestine-Israel politics sparked the knock on his California Highway Patrol door.
“I should not be harassed by the police for criticizing their policies”, @queeralamode tweeted in response to meeting with police.
The California Highway Patrol told Fox News it often helps other law enforcement agencies, including the Capitol Police, when asked to participate in an investigation. They directed all questions to the Capitol Police, who are in charge of the safety of members of Congress.
Capitol Police confirmed to Fox News that the Ocasio-Cortez did not report any tweets from @queeralamode as threatening and the police have opened this investigation as part of their regular efforts to monitor the threats.
“The USCP is investigating all threats reported by Congressional offices. The Department also monitors open and classified sources to identify and investigate threats,” Capitol Police said in a statement to Fox News. “This is standard operating procedure for the Department. Regarding this incident, the women of Congress have not asked the USCP to initiate an investigation.”
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A Capitol Police official further clarified that the podcaster came on their radar not for Ocasio-Cortez’s Israeli policy tweet or anything else he wrote. On the contrary, the Californian was tagged in a tweet written by another user deemed threatening.
“They were tagged in a tweet that was seen as threatening and prompted us to look into this issue,” a US Capitol Police official told Fox News.
This tweet has since been removed from Twitter.
“Obviously, as you can imagine, whenever there is something that could be a perceived threat, we will speak to everyone involved, whether directly or indirectly involved,” said the responsible.
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Capitol Police, reeling from two recent deaths of its officers in the Capitol attacks, have also been grappling with increased threats against lawmakers.
Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said in March threats against members of Congress increased 93.5% in the first two months of 2021, compared to the same period of the year last.
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