A Louisiana man allegedly threatened to “wipe the entire Brookings Institution off the face of the fucking earth,” saying that the venerable think tank’s staff deserved to die “in the most heinous way.” That’s according to a criminal complaint filed in New Orleans federal court, accusing Russell Vennell, 59, of making interstate threats against Brookings, a felony that carries up to five years in prison. Shortly after 2 a.m. on June 13, Vennell called Brookings and told a security guard that he was going to kill an employee identified in court filings as S.H., the complaint states. He then left a voicemail reiterating the threat against S.H., but added an ominous addendum. “I called you a little while ago telling you I was going to kill S.H. I gotta revamp that,” the complaint quotes Vennell as saying. “I am going to wipe the entire Brookings Institution off the face of the fucking earth. You are scum sucking evil motherfuckers and you all deserve death in the most heinous way and it’s coming at you.”
According to a probable cause affidavit attached to the complaint, which is signed by FBI Special Agent Brock Flint, the Brookings threats came three months after Vennell allegedly menaced an appellate attorney representing a client in a case before the Supreme Court. If the client was “not deported, I intend to hunt him down and torture him myself,” Vennell allegedly told the lawyer. FBI agents tracked down Vennell without much trouble—he made all of the calls from his own phone, which was registered in his own name. The Brookings Institution and Vennell’s court-appointed lawyer did not respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment. The complaint does not specify what Vennell was so upset about.