Man who threatened Bush dislikes agentsA judge told a man convicted of threatening then-President George W. Bush that he doesn’t have to speak with the Secret Service, but that he probably should unless he wants agents checking up on him after he completes his sentence.
By: By Dave Kolpack, The Associated Press , The Jamestown Sun
FARGO — A judge told a man convicted of threatening then-President George W. Bush that he doesn’t have to speak with the Secret Service, but that he probably should unless he wants agents checking up on him after he completes his sentence.
U.S District Judge Ralph Erickson ruled during a status hearing on Thursday that Daniel Cvijanovich must wear a GPS monitoring ankle bracelet for at least three more months. He also offered to have the court pay for an attorney to represent Cvijanovich should the 29-year-old writer agree to meet with Secret Service agents, who want to determine if he’s still a threat.
“They’ll show up at your place of work and they’ll follow you around,” the judge said of the agents.
Cvijanovich was sentenced to a year in prison in 2005 after authorities said he threw rocks at the federal building in Fargo with notes to the FBI attached. Agents thought the threat was in retaliation for the investigation of American Indian activist Leonard Peltier, who’s serving life in prison for the deaths of two FBI agents in South Dakota in 1975.
While in prison, Cvijanovich allegedly told at least one inmate about his plan to kill Bush, authorities said. He was convicted in 2007 on one count of threats against the president and served 19 months in prison and three months in a halfway house. He has been on electronic home monitoring the last year.
Cvijanovich, who represented himself at the hearing, told Erickson that the Secret Service has been trying to manipulate him, and that agents showed up unannounced at his door recently seeking to speak with him.
“They have been disrespectful and manipulative,” Cvijanovich said in court. “I can assure everybody here I don’t have any intentions of hurting anybody, the president or anyone else. I do feel my life is on track now and I would like to keep it that way.”
Erickson, who is trying to mediate the dispute between Cvijanovich and the agents, said he believes most of Cvijanovich’s legal troubles were due to chemical dependency but he believes the Fargo resident has turned his life around. Cvijanovich is sober, employed, married and soon to be a father, the judge said.
“I don’t think you’re ever going to wake up and be a fan of the Secret Service and I don’t think the Secret Service is ever going to wake up and be a fan of Dan Cvijanovich,” Erickson said. “I do think we can move beyond where we are today.”
Cvijanovich declined to speak to The Associated Press after the hearing. Special Agent John Kirkwood of the Secret Service in Minneapolis said he can’t comment because it’s an ongoing case.
Cvijanovich was accused of telling three inmates in the Stutsman County Jail in 2005 that he planned to kill Bush when he was released from prison, although a jury found that only one of the threats was credible. Prosecutors said Cvijanovich told one inmate, “I want to kill the president so I will be famous.”
Police said they found a gun and disguises in Cjivanovich’s home more than a year after Bush appeared at a 2005 rally in Fargo. Charles Sullivan, a Fargo police investigator, has said he believes Cvijanovich brought a gun to the rally. Sullivan said Cvijanovich told authorities that he did not go through with his plans to harm the president because he thought he was being watched by an undercover Secret Service agent.
Cvijanovich has maintained his innocence on his Web site, justice4dan.com.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Cvijanovich’s appeal of the verdict but said last week he deserves a hearing on whether the government should be allowed to keep copies of letters and papers used as evidence.