Robertson posted online Monday that he had heard Biden was coming to Utah and he was planning to dig out a camouflage suit and begin “cleaning the dust off the M24 sniper rifle,” a post that came after months of graphic online threats against several public figures, according to court documents. Robertson referred to himself as a “MAGA Trumper,” a reference to former President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, and also posted threats against top law enforcement officials overseeing court cases against Trump.
Neighbors described Robertson as a frail, elderly man — his online profile put his age as 74 — who walked with the aid of a hand-carved stick. Though he regularly carried guns, they said he didn’t seem a threat.
“There’s no way that he was driving from here to Salt Lake City, setting up a rifle and taking a shot at the president — 100% no way,” said neighbor Andrew Maunder outside the church across from Robertson’s street.
The attack comes as Republicans, who have traditionally touted themselves as the party of law and order, have escalated their attacks on law enforcement and especially the FBI. Trump has relentlessly attacked the agency, even though it is led by someone he appointed, Christopher Wray. Wray himself has warned of the dangers of recent rhetoric. Some officials have become increasingly alarmed as the former president has escalated his attacks on the FBI, Attorney General Merrick Garland and the local and federal prosecutors who have filed three separate criminal cases against him in recent months.
Biden flew to Utah on Wednesday ahead of a visit to a Veterans Affairs hospital in Salt Lake City on Thursday to talk about the PACT Act, which expanded veterans benefits. He also planned to hold a reelection fundraiser. A White House official who requested anonymity to discuss the matter said Biden was briefed after the raid.
Robertson’s posts indicated he did appear to own a long-range sniper rifle and numerous other weapons, as well as camouflage gear known as a “ghillie suit,” investigators said in court records. Robertson was charged under seal Tuesday with three felony counts, including making threats against the president and against FBI agents investigating him, court documents show.
Robertson also referenced a “presidential assassination” and also posted threats against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Garland and New York Attorney General Letitia James, authorities said.
“The time is right for a presidential assassination or two. First Joe then Kamala!!!” authorities say Robertson wrote in a September 2022 Facebook post included in the filings. No attorney was immediately listed for Robertson in court documents and family members of Robertson could not be immediately reached for comment through publicly available phone numbers.
The FBI investigation began with a tip about the Bragg threat from Trump’s own social media platform Truth Social in March, after Robertson posted about “waiting in the courthouse parking garage” with a suppressed weapon and wanting to “put a nice hole in his forehead.” His account has since been suspended from the platform.
No further details were immediately released about the shooting, which is under review by the FBI.