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Texas woman charged with threatening judge who approved Trump special master request

Trump documents investigation
Trump asks judge to reject Justice Dept. request to continue review of documents 08:48

A Houston-area woman is facing federal charges for allegedly threatening Judge Aileen Cannon, the federal judge who approved the appointment of a special master to review items seized by the FBI during its Aug. 8 search at Mar-a-Lago, former President Donald Trump's primary residence.

In an affidavit dated Sept. 6, an FBI agent wrote that Tiffani Shea Gish left three threatening, vulgar voicemails for Cannon using the pseudonym Evelyn Salt, a character in the movie "Salt." Gish allegedly told Cannon that "Donald Trump has been disqualified long ago, and he's marked for assassination, you're helping him, ma'am."

Gish faces two charges related to threatening a federal official and was ordered detained pending trial after an initial court appearance.

In the voicemails, Gish allegedly said she was "Donald Trump's hitman, so consider it a bullet from Donald Trump himself." She also alleged that Trump was "responsible for 9/11" and that she was a federal agent, the affidavit said.

Cannon, the judge, reported the voicemails to the U.S. Marshals Service on Sept. 3, according to the affidavit.

According to the criminal complaint, Gish appears to "suffer from severe mental impairments with symptoms including paranoia and delusions." She has a competency hearing set for Tuesday.

The criminal complaint said Gish admitted to making the calls and told authorities that she was the only one with access to the phone that left the messages. 

Cannon, who was named to the bench by Trump in 2020, ruled last week that a neutral third party known as a special master must be appointed to review property seized from Mar-a-Lago for "potentially privileged material subject to claims of attorney-client and/or executive privilege."

The Justice Department is appealing Cannon's decision. Trump's attorneys on Monday asked a federal judge to continue to block Justice Department investigators from reviewing more than 100 sensitive documents seized by the FBI during its search at Mar-a-Lago.

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