The Lebanon man charged in the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol allegedly told a staffer in U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree’s office that he wanted to start a war with China and threatened to “give it to her hard” if she voted to impeach former President Donald Trump.
Kyle Fitzsimons, 37, is facing 10 charges in connection with his participation in events in Washington, D.C., two weeks before the inauguration of President Joe Biden.
New information about Fitzsimons activities leading up to Jan. 6 was made public in a motion for his continued detention in the case. He has been held without bail since his arrest on Feb. 4 in Maine.
Prosecutors argued in the unusually detailed motion that Fitzsimons should be detained because he: made statements before and after the Capitol riots to Pingree’s office and others that were not “peaceful”; was violent when he “attempted to breach the police lines” on Jan. 6; and does not have the family support necessary to be successful on bail.
On March 19, 2020, Fitzsimons called Pingree’s office demanding the number for Chinese President Xi Jinping, the motion said. Fitzsimons allegedly said that he wanted to start a war with China. If Pingree’s staffer did not give him the Chinese leader’s number, he said was going to go out on the street and start talking to Chinese people he saw. His tone was described as very aggressive and angry, and he yelled at the staffer.
The following December, Fitzsimons allegedly called Pingree’s office twice to express his concerns about a possible impeachment trial and the results of the November election. Fitzsimons on Dec. 17 said that he opposed the president’s possible impeachment and threatened to “give it to her hard,” the motion said. He also allegedly told the staffer that “we’re coming for her,” meaning Pingree.
The following day, Fitzsimons called again and said that the electoral college vote is corrupt and total garbage, according to the motion. He urged the congresswomen to dispute the election results in January. Fitzsimons also called Biden a corrupt skeleton and said there is going to be civil war, the document said.
Pingree, a Democrat, voted to impeach Trump.
Victoria Bonney, Pingree’s director of communications, confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Fitzsimons made threatening phone calls to the congresswoman’s office. They were reported to the Capitol Police, Bonney said.
Pingree is not the only lawmaker Fitzsimons has allegedly targeted. Rep. Michele Meyer, an Eliot Democrat, said that she had tense encounters with Fitzsimons over gun safety issues in 2019.
In the days following the Capitol riot, Fitzsimons returned to Maine. He spoke with a Rochester, New Hampshire, online newspaper and called into a meeting of Lebanon’s Board of Selectmen. He allegedly told the members that he believes that Trump is a lion leading an “army of lambs through lawfare,” the motion argued.
As for his actions on Jan. 6, Fitzsimons was part of a group that forced its way past police and into the Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of election results. Fitzsimons never made it inside but, wearing a butcher’s jacket and carrying an unstrung bow, he and others overcame officers in a police line.
Fitzsimons allegedly grabbed an officer’s shoulder and tried to pull him into the crowd. That caused him to fall, and the officer struck Fitzsimons in the head several times to free himself from the Maine man’s grip.
After being struck by the baton, Fitzsimons moved and charged at the line of officers, the motion said. He allegedly grabbed an officer’s gas mask and pulled it to the side before another individual behind Fitzsimons covered the officer in pepper spray.
Fitzsimons’ wife did not support his political views and activities, according to the motion. A text message his wife sent to Fitzsimons on Jan. 5, the day before the Capitol siege, said: “‘[a]fter this trip you need to do some serious decision making. If your [sic] not going to change, I don’t want anything to do with you. This is it kyle, it’s me and [our child] or politics…Chose [sic] is yours.’”
Prosecutors used the text messages to argue that Fitzsimons wouldn’t have the support of family members if he were released before trial.
A federal grand jury in February indicted Fitzsimons on 10 charges, including causing injury to two police officers, entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds, and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building.
The motion for detention most likely will be considered by a federal judge when Fitzsimons is arraigned on the charges in Washington, D.C. An arraignment date has not been set and no defense attorney has been assigned to represent him.
Prosecutors have asked to hold without bail those who got inside the building and those charged with assaulting police officers.
Fitzsimons is believed to be the only Maine resident out of more than 300 people charged after the January riot.