Anchors at CNN and MSNBC and prominent Democrats were targeted for attack by a Coast Guard lieutenant arrested Friday on a firearms charge, according to federal prosecutors in Maryland. In court documents revealed Tuesday, prosecutors describe the firearms and controlled substance charges Christopher Paul Hasson is facing as “the proverbial tip of the iceberg.”
CNN’s Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo and Van Jones and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, Chris Hayes and Ari Melber were among the media figures cited in a computer file that prosecutors believe was a list of public figures targeted for racially and politically motivated attacks. Hasson at present is a Coast Guard lieutenant stationed in Washington, D.C. He served in the Marines from 1988 to 1993, per court documents.
Hasson was arrested for possession of a firearm and for possession of the opioid drug Tramadol. According to court documents, prosecutors say they found a large cache of firearms and steroids in Hasson’s “cramped” basement apartment in Silver Spring, Md.
According to prosecutors, Hasson described himself “as a White Nationalist for over 30 years and advocated for ‘focused violence’ in order to establish a white homeland.”
The complaint unveiled Wednesday makes an urgent case for keeping Hasson in federal custody. “The defendant is a domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect governmental conduct,” prosecutors asserted. Prosecutors made the case for denying bail to Hasson amid “clear and convincing evidence that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the safety of any other person or the community writ large.”
MSNBC declined to comment on Hasson’s arrest. CNN could not immediately be reached for comment.
The complaint details a string of firearms and ammunition purchases by Hasson from February 2017 through April 2018. It also details his purchase of powerful steroids and opiates. Hasson’s computer was found to have performed Google searches for such subjects as “what if Trump illegally impeached” and “best place in dc to see congress people.”
The complaint asserts that Hasson was influenced by the work of Norwegian domestic terrorist Anders Breivik, who was convicted in 2012 of murdering 77 people in a carefully orchestrated terror attack. Breivik’s 1,500-page manifesto on plotting a terror attack influenced Hasson to stockpile weapons and steroids to prepare himself for committing the attacks, according to prosecutors.
Politicians on the list included such prominent Democrats as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House members Maxine Waters and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as well as senators Cory Booker, Charles Schumer, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand.