A retired Massachusetts attorney with a history of making donations to the Democratic Party has been charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly storming into a local Republican headquarters office last month, hurling vulgarities, and saying he should come back with a “weapon” in order to get the office staffers’ attention. His actions reportedly made those inside the Woburn, Massachusetts, GOP office feel unsafe and threatened.
The Boston Herald reported that 72-year-old Hugh Samson of Nahant, Massachusetts, allegedly “forced his way into nonpublic areas of the headquarters to confront them about whether the party directed the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. When they locked him out, they say he delivered an expletive-laden tirade calling them ‘(expletive) fascists.’”
“Before leaving, they say, he mentioned coming back with a ‘weapon,’” the paper added.
His attorneys, however, say that comment was made “sarcastically” and was supposed to be a cheeky remark that Republicans would see firearms and weapons as “legitimate political discourse.”
The Herald noted that a judge in the “Woburn District Court, found enough evidence to move forward with the charge at a probable cause hearing Thursday morning. He did not find enough evidence to move forward with a charge of threatening to commit a crime, however.”
In response, one of the staffers present that day said the charge was too lenient.
“I think that’s outrageous. I feel threatened,” Wendy Wakeman, of North Andover, told reporters. “I don’t think anyone uses the word ‘weapon’ unless they’re thinking of using it.”
The Herald also noted that the police report gave more detail into the alleged disruption at the Woburn GOP office:
The police reports state that Samson took out his cellphone in the conference room and asked if he could photograph Wakeman, who said no and blocked his phone with her laptop.
That’s when John Milligan, another staffer, called 911. Defense attorney Mitchell played about a minute of the audio from that call as an exhibit for the court to illustrate that Samson’s comments were made in context to Jan. 6.
Samson’s attorneys are currently arguing that all of his alleged behavior fall under the First Amendment, and that his comments were “‘obnoxious’ and to ‘provoke a response, but not a violent response’” and should be considered “political hyperbole.”
The septuagenarian has made numerous campaign donations to Democrats, the Boston-based paper added:
Samson is highly involved in Democratic politics. He regularly donates thousands of dollars to Democratic campaigns of both individual candidates and national groups — $2,500 each to the Democratic Party campaign committees for both senate and congressional candidates in October alone — according to OpenSecrets.org, a database that tracks campaign contributions.
In response to Samson’s political donations, Wakefield said “This guy has all the power in the world and I have none of the power.”
In the past, it would appear that Samson has also written a letter to the editor in the Boston Herald, calling for non-violent protests against President Donald Trump. In 2016, a letter to the editor signed by “Hugh Samson, Nahant” said that “if Trump comes for our friends, or tries to poison our air or water, then resist — even if resistance ends up requiring civil disobedience.”
“But protests should be nonviolent. Nonviolence beats violence, strategically and morally,” the letter added.
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